Pukekura Park - its ecology and history - Friends of Pukekura Park New Plymouth Inc.

Plectranthus - pretty in purple

Plectranthus is the largest South African genus of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. Several different Plectranthus are featured in Pukekura Park. These plants are very good for their late summer-autumn flowering colour.


The purple-flowered plant is P. ecklonii. The pink-flowered plant is on our collection lists as P. coleoides pink, but it is now named P. forsteri. In the Fountain Lake - Palm Lawn area, the darker pink-flowered plant with leaves that are purple on the reverse is P. fruticosus ‘Behr’. Also in this area, we have a species that has pale almost lime-green foliage and mauve flowers which has a sprawling mound-like habit making it an excellent ground-cover plant. This is P. saccatus.


P. ciliatus is also present in the Park. We are aware of its weed potential and manage it accordingly. We confine and prune it so that it does not overrun everything else in its path. Where this plant is not wanted we remove it completely. The more shrubby species such as those mentioned above don’t seem to have the same weed potential as P ciliatus. Again, if they are in places where we think they are inappropriate they are very easily removed as they tend to have very shallow root systems.

Plectranthus propagate easily from cuttings. Almost any piece of P. ciliatus that drops to or touches the ground can grow. Seeding-out seems only to occur with P. ciliatus. As yet, I have not seen seedlings of the other species in the Park.

Ian Hutchinson

Technical Officer Premier Parks

April 2008



Plectranthus: an autumnal highlight

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