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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Phillipine Violet

As October winds into her last days and November unfolds, there is a perennial that blooms faithfully each year. It's a fairly inconsequential flower by any showy standards. Yet it adds a few spots of bright white that reflects the light so well in my shade garden.

The blooms pop out in clusters along the way up the deep tall green stalks.

It's a hardy sort seeding itself and springing up in the most unlikely places. You can see the one above squeezed itself right up next to the oak tree and poked its blooms up between the variegated schefflera, xanadu and lots of bromeliads are at its feet on the other side of the tree.

I admit I've pulled lots of them out by the roots over the years being slightly unimpressed with their choice of where to seed themselves.

I let them flourish mostly back here in the rear of the property where things are a little more on the natural side. The tubular little blossoms only last for a few weeks. However, the bushy shrub remains deep green the rest of the year.

In the end, I'm mostly grateful for them when they show up. Sort of like clock-work this time of year. It's kind of nice really to have new blooms from old faithful perennials in the fall when so many other flowering plants are fading away.

Here's some general information about them from Floridata:

Scientific name: Barleria cristata
Pronunciation: bar-LEER-ee-uh kriss-STAY-tuh
Common name(s): Phillipine Violet, Bluebell Barleria,
Family: Acanthaceae
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous
USDA hardiness zones: 9 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: superior hedge; foundation; border
Availablity: somewhat available, may have to go out of the
region to find the plant
Have a happy gardening weekend, Meems.


  1. Lovely post, Meems. Who could not love old faithful perennials! Like good friends and family, never let us down ;)

  2. I think it looks delicate and graceful. Hey--I was at your sister's site tonight. I meant to go there a long time ago and forgot. I just happened upon it and right away I knew it was her. The two of you sure have a lot of class and good taste. Too bad you live so far apart. Like hot and cold. I wish I had a sister to pester all the time;)

  3. Your garden always shows us something new Meeems. I have never seen or heard about this lovely plant before.

  4. Hi Meems,
    Wow that is so pretty. I got one from my aunt and it is tall but has yet to bloom. I have it in almost full shade-only gets an hour or so of morning sun. Maybe I just need to give it more time? Lovely photo though :)

  5. I think it's quite lovely! Don't you love Floridata? I do.

  6. Joey: I first bought this plant when there wasn't much around the big oaks in the back. I actually tried at one point to get rid of them by pulling them all out. The seed must be VERY hardy.

    Anna: Glad you made it over to Marmee's blog. She is a gifted and beautiful person. She only moved up to TN about 8 years ago. We had lots of child-rearing years together. I miss her but it is a great place to visit.

    You would make a great sister, too. We'll adopt you if you are up to it. LOL

    Lisa: The Phillipine violet is not one I see in the garden stores very often either now that I think about it.

    Linda: Thank you. I haven't always appreciated its value but now that the garden is lots more filled in, I look for the blooms in autumn.

    Susiesqs: I do think there is a possibility of still getting a bloom. Do you see any buds forming on it yet? Mine are in partial or filtered shade. If yours doesn't bloom this year, maybe try moving it in the spring to get more sun. You are kind of pushing the hardiness zone so sunshine might just be what it needs. But I'd wait until spring. Is yours white also?

    Darla: Thank you. Floridata is handy and valuable resource. I didn't even know it existed until I started blogging. Are you in the Tallahassee area?

  7. Yes mam I'm a Tallahassee Lassie! Born and raised. My two oldest children and their deceased Father and myself were all born in the same hospital. We have roots!!

  8. Meems,

    I think I might just have to move it to a dappled spot in the spring. I don't know what colors the flowers are b/c this is my first year with it. I can't wait to see what they are though. I don't have any buds on it at all. *sigh*

  9. What a beautiful little flower on that perennial. I don't blame you for loving the ever faithful plants in your garden, they are the backbones.

  10. meems, White can light up a shady spot and this one looks lovely. I like that it can be left alone to take care of itself....maybe too well, if you tried to pull it out. Still, it blooms in Autumn!


  11. What a lovely flower. Does it always bloom this time of yr.? Is it invasive? I've never heard of it before.

  12. So pristine and beautiful. I didn't know this one, so I thank you for the information and lovely photos.


  13. It's true, timing is everything!

  14. white as you know is a favourite colour of mine. especially in the garden. this little white bloomer is so delicate and beautiful.

  15. That's very pretty and looks good amidst all that familiar (for me) looking plants! I'll be on the lookout for the Phillipine violet now.

  16. darla, I was supposed to be in Tally this weekend. Hubby went and I stayed behind to help my daughter with a project. Our youngest son lives there with his wife. Both of our sons went to school there... so I said all of that to say... we have spent loads of time (and $$$) in Tallahassee and really love the city.

    You do have roots. For some reason I was picturing you more like in the middle of the state until you said something in one of your posts... can't remember what made me think of it. So glad to know now where you are.

    Susiesq: Hey- you and Darla are neighbors! Yes, I think move it to a place where it gets a little more sunshine. Next year it will probably bloom for you.

    Racquel: It's kind of funny I never think about this little flower as foundational. For some reason it seems more like a faithful weed. But every time it blooms I'm glad I haven't completely eradicated it. I do like it when its blooming.

    Gail: Years ago when I first bought this plant, I did it for that very reason... To brighten up the shady spots. Plus I really do love stark white anything in the garden.

  17. Lola, Yes, it always blooms the same time every year like it has a magic clock inside. I wouldn't consider it invasive because the plants that pop up everywhere are easily plucked out by the root. They are individual plants... but they do scatter & seed anywhere they want to. Now the mexican petunia - it's invasive because it multiplies by runners and they are very hard to pull up.

    Cameron: For some reason I don't see it in the garden store anymore either. You are like me... you enjoy finding out about new plants. BTW- the verbena you featured on your blog a couple of weeks showed up at the big box store for the first time this weekend. I was so tempted but trying not to buy "flowers" right now. It's really hard because this time of year our garden centers look just like they do in spring... loaded with flowers calling my name.

    Robert: especially in autumn when so many flowers are saying goodbye.

    Marmee: You are right- it does appear delicate. But it is one tough plant. I wish I loved it but I'm sure everyone can tell it just isn't a favorite. That's okay- at least it is working hard for me anyway. :-)

    Katarina: Thanks, I'm glad you like it.

    kanak: Hi. You would love the ease of this little flower.

  18. I can see how that beautiful white would brighten a dark area. I've not seen this plant before. Thanks for showing it Meems.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

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