Our alyogyne bushes are in full bloom this month. Alyogyne huegelii is a perennial evergreen bush that produces striking lavender flowers. I planted our two Mood Indigo alyogyne bushes about 5 years ago. Each spring, they are covered with pinwheel shaped flowers for about 3 months. During that time, they make a great landscape display. Although in the summer and fall, they are not especially attractive.

Alyogyne rivals the princess flower. Both plants produce large purplish flowers. The flowers of alyogyne seem to stand out more against their foliage than princess flowers, but princess flowers usually bloom over a longer period. Also, alyogyne is more cold hardy than princess flower. Alyogyne is supposed to tolerate temperatures down to about 23 degrees F. Princess flower is usually damaged below 30 degrees F.

A few years ago when the temperatures here fell into the mid 20s in January, our alyogyne bushes were undamaged, but our princess flowers died to the ground. Obviously, neither of these plants are appropriate garden choices for most of the United States and Canada (i.e., USDA zones 1-8).

April 18 2009 10:23 am | Alyogyne