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A Floridata Plant Profile #13 Justicia brandegeana
Common Names: shrimp plant, false hop, shrimp bush
Family: Acanthaceae (acanthus Family)
Wallpaper Gallery (1 images)

Shrub  Attracts Hummingbirds Attracts Butterflies Fast Growing Has evergreen foliage Flowers

Shrimp plant
The shrimp plant combines brilliantly with the shiny purple foliage of the Persian shield. Shrimp plant with Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus ). Click to download a large version of this image.
red shrimp plant
There is a shrimp plant with rosy-red bracts that is just as popular with the butterflies and hummingbirds as the more commonly colored version. Click to download a large version of this image.
Description
The popular shrimp plant grows in clumps of weak, twiggy stems that get 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) tall, 3 ft (1 m) wide, and may spread to form a large colony. The branching stems are tipped by 6 in (15 cm) drooping spikes of dark red to rusty brown bracts, each bract enclosing a tounguelike white flower. Shrimp plant is evergreen in mild climates, and blooms almost continuously. The leaves are oval, light green and 2-3 in (5-8 cm) long. The young stems and the undersides of the leaves are soft and downy. There are cultivars with yellow bracts, bright red bracts, and others with lime green bracts.

Location
Justicia brandegeana is native to Mexico. It is often grown in tropical and subtropical gardens, and has escaped cultivation and naturalized in peninsular Florida.


Culture
Light:
Shrimp plant does well in full to part sun.
Moisture: Shrimp plant likes a fertile, well drained soil; water generously in hot weather to keep plant looking fresh.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 8-11. Shrimp plant is killed to the ground by hard frosts but usually recovers quickly when warm weather returns.
Propagation: Start new plants from stem cuttings in spring or by division of clumps.

Shrimp plant
With big blossoms against bright green leaves, the shrimp plant is superbly showy, easy to grow and not usually bothered by pests. Click to download a larger version (800x600) of this image.
Usage
Use shrimp plant in mixed perennial beds and borders, wherever you want a mass of continuous color - they bloom almost all year long! Keep the bushes tip pruned to promote bushiness and increase flowering. In cooler climates, shrimp plant is grown in a container, to be brought indoors in winter.

Features
The Mexican shrimp plant is easy to grow. The exotic, interesting flowers bloom continuously in frost-free areas. It is not bothered by pests. What a great plant! Another outstanding Justicia is Brazilian plume.

Jack Scheper 9/13/96; updated 8/20/01, 5/1/06, 12/29/07




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