Phygelius 'Lemon Spritzer'

variegated Cape fuchsia

We planted out our first specimens of variegated cape fuchsia in spring of 2013 and we've been thrilled with them ever since. Cape fuchsia or Phygelius is a genus native to South Africa where it forms evergreen to semi-evergreen shrubs on damp hillsides. In North Carolina, they act more as herbaceous perennials, dying back to the ground in winter but popping back up in spring.

'Lemon Spritzer' is a new twist on this favorite with chartreuse to lemon-yellow leaves sprinkled liberally with darker green for a bright pop in the landscape. If happy, a mature plant will reach 30" tall and wide with flowers held another foot above the foliage in summer and fall. The flowers are long, coral-pink tubes which are absolutely adored by hummingbirds. If spent flowers are removed regularly, they will continue to put out new flower stalks sporadically through the summer.

Grow variegated Cape fuchsia in full sun or part shade in average to moist well-drained, loose soil. In very sunny spots, moisture is especially necessary. Phygelius is often touted as a drought tolerant plant, but in the heat of the Southeast, it is much happier commingling with hosta and ferns than baking next to sages and agave.

We grow this lovely perennial in beds between the Boxwood Collection and our giant Japanese crepe myrtles near the Pedestrian Entrance from Beryl Road, in our Perennial Border, and near the Color Trials in the Oak Grove.