Nila Chitrak
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Nila Chitrak
ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Plumbago, Cape Leadwort • Hindi: Nila chitrak नीला चित्रक • Kannada: ನೀಲಿಚಿತ್ರಮೂಲ Neeli chitramula • Manipuri: ꯇꯦꯜꯍꯤꯗꯥꯛ Telhidak
Botanical name: Plumbago auriculata     Family: Plumbaginaceae (plumbago family)
Synonyms: Plumbago capensis

Plumbago is an evergreen shrub with whip-like semiwoody stems that form a loose, rounded mound 3-10 ft high with a similar spread. Plumbago can be pruned to grow like a vine and scramble over supports, or pruned into a more compact mounded shrub, or left to sprawl with its long, gracefully arching branches. The 2 in oblong leaves are a fresh, light yellowish green color. The sky blue flowers are 1 in long tubes expanding into 5 petals spreading about 1 in across. The flowers are borne in rounded terminal clusters 6 in across and look quite a bit like phlox flowers. Plumbago blooms all year long except for the coldest winter months.

Photographed in Delhi.

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