Common Name: Plumbago, Cape leadwort. Tamil Name: Neela Koduveli
Plumbago is an evergreen shrub of South African origin it grows to a height of around 4. It is deployed in India as a garden plant and much appreciated for its blue flowers. Plumbao is also used as a hedge plant and large stretches of such hedges can be found in places like Coonoor in Nilgiri district. The young branches are green in color and ribbed. The simple leaves are arranged in an alternate manner. One each leaf node 5 leaves are bunched, out of the five leaves four are very small, the central leaf stands much bigger. The larger leaf measure around 5 cm in length; sessile; margin wavy and entire. At the base of the leaf there is a pair of stipules which are auriculate in shape (ear shaped) and measure around 4 mm each. The leaf is elliptic in shape with a rounded tip and an attenuate base. The inflorescence is the form of a terminal or axillary raceme, flowers are pale blue in color, bisexual and tubular in shape. The calyx is tubular, glandular, sticky and measure around 1 cm. The flower has five petals joined below to form a tubular flower. The flower tube and flower across measure around 2.9 cm and 2 cm respectively. The fruit is in the form of a capsule. Other than propagation by seeds, Plumbago produces suckers which enable the plant to cover ground rapidly. Plumbago is the larval host plant for Zebra blue butterfly.