July 24, 2014

Plants We Love- Double Orange Shrimp Plant

Sid's Double Orange Shrimp Plant

Justicia spicigera 'Sidicaro' bush form
Some plants just have charisma, and this species is one of them. Some years ago, Sid Gardino from Gardino Nursery in Delray Beach, Florida brought this plant to plant sales. He is widely accorded as being the "originator" of the plant, but its true provenance is a bit fuzzy. Usually considered the double form of the nearly-weedy single-flowered J.spicigera, this variety is much more manageable. It has been in cultivation for some 20 years or more, yet is still fairly uncommon.  This plant has been such a good performer in our gardens, whether in light shade or strong sunlight, that I started planting them in many other gardens. I recommend them to other gardeners locally, and with few complaints, the responses have been quite positive. The only negatives I hear about the plant is that it can grow quite large, therefore it needs to be pruned every few months. The plant tolerates pruning very well, and quickly make a bushy specimen. Hummingbirds and butterflies both enjoy the bright orange tubular flowers, and the plant is in bloom much of the year. This is one member of the shrimp plant family that is robust, not too demanding about its diet, and can grow effortlessly from cuttings. Why then, with all these attributes, is it not more common ?     
'Sidicaro' up close

Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens



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