X Ruttyruspolia ‘Phyllis Van Heerden’

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Plant Information:

Botanical Name:  X Ruttyruspolia ‘Phyllis Van Heerden’

Common Name: Ruttyruspolia

Family: Acanthaceae

Origin: South Africa

Type: Tropical Color

Size: 30"h x 30"w

Exposure: Sun


Butterflies: Yes

Hummingbirds: No

Container Size: LPB

We absolutely love this recently acquired and weirdly named plant with its huge clusters of light pink flowers with purple dots in the centers. It performs brilliantly in our garden, constantly producing its blooms no matter how hot the weather. The world may have never experienced this beauty if it weren’t for the eyes of an attentive plant enthusiast named Phyllis Van Heerden. In 1957 she was traveling through the Soutpansberg Mountains in the northern part of South Africa and spotted a showy plant on the side of the road that seemed out of place. Botanists at the National Herbarium couldn’t identify it. They knew that two plants (Ruttya ovata (with white flowers) and Ruspolia hypocrateriformis (red flowers)) grew wild in that area. They manipulated their flowers and were able to get a cross between the two and the seedling grew into a similar but less attractive plant. Thus, they realized it was an extremely rare intergeneric hybrid. We are very grateful for the discovery Phyllis made that day. We just can’t believe it hasn’t been given a better name after all these years.