Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Brazilian Plume, Flamingo Flower, Jacobinia, Pine-Bur Begonia
Justicia carnea

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Justicia (jus-TEE-see-ah) (Info)
Species: carnea (KAR-nee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Jacobinia carnea

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

39 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 46 photos.
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22 positives
6 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Jenna_M On Apr 20, 2013, Jenna_M from Aubrey, TX wrote:

I LOVE & Recommend this plant! I grew the pink variety in Coppell TX (Zone 8A) for many years in an area with dappled light for the first half of the day and full shade for the remainder of the afternoon & evening. It was planted in the ground in extremely good, dark brown composted soil and consistent moisture. It thrived and came back every year for about 10+ years...although it never got bigger than 2 feet tall and about 14 inches wide. One autumn I took cuttings and stuck a few in a plain glass of water and then dipped a few in rooting compound and into a separate glass of water. They both grew roots, however the ones with rooting compound grew them much faster & thicker and the resulting plants were darker green and much more robust than the plain water babies. After sticking them into the ground the following spring they all took off and resulted in healthy plants. From one original plant I grew abouut 30 healthy babies! Four years ago I moved farther north to Aubrey TX which is zone 7B where we have sandy soil. I brought 5 plants with me and stuck them in the ground in an area where I thought they had enough naturally composted leaves mixed in with the dirt. They came back after the first winter but were pretty small and scraggly, fizzled out by mid-summer and I haven't seen them since. However, Jackson's Pottery in Dallas always has a few of them so I picked up a couple of hanging baskets (3 plants in each one) and I'm going to try putting 3 in the ground in much better soil this time. I'll keep the other 3 in a pot and see how they do in comparison. Either way, I'll take cuttings in the fall and grow babies over the winter. It's one way of feeding my gardening obsession in the cold months! :)

Negative marlenaM On Mar 31, 2012, marlenaM from Wheat Ridge, CO wrote:

When I bought this plant the leaves were large and shiny dark green. It got lots of flowers and was strikingly beautiful. Now that I've had it about 10 years, it really doesn't look like the same plant and it actually hasn't for at least 5 years. The leaves have become fairly small and wilted. I try not to water to see if that helps, but it doesn't. I try to water more to see if that helps, but that doesn't seem to matter either. I've tried cutting it completely down (it's in a huge pot); I've tried thinning it out, but nothing seems to help. Any advice?

Negative belladoll On Feb 28, 2012, belladoll from San Clemente, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I put this plant in the ground after buying it at the Del Mar fair in Ca. It is very invasive. It comes up even in the sun. I dig it out wherever I see it, and it still comes back. Unless it is in a pot, plant something else.

Neutral BettBi On Feb 27, 2012, BettBi from Pahoa, HI wrote:

This is what I don't understand: I live in Hawaii and this plant looks similar to Shrimp Plants and the Panama Queen. I think it would do very well in my garden. But how do I acquire one? There are all kinds of regs that prevent shipping to Hawaii... If the plant isn't available in nurseries here, and if no one locally has one to sell or trade, what next?

Positive Fowlkes On Feb 27, 2012, Fowlkes from Farmville, VA wrote:

I have grown this plant for at least 15 years - outdoors in central Virginia, zone 7a. It is sited in a south-facing bed, so it gets winter sun which is important. Of course it dies down after the first hard freeze, but it comes back reliably each spring. So I think of it as a perennial rather than a tropical. I'm surprised that none of the articles I've read about Justicia carnea ever convey this fact. It is much hardier than the authors suggest!

Positive karenfischley On Feb 16, 2010, karenfischley from Kissimmee, FL wrote:

I had tried to protect my plant outdoors during the frost we had this winter by covering it with a cloth sheet. Well, it was not the answer to it's trouble. The cold air itself seemed to l cause this plant to die back, and to my delight it is getting green and recovering well. So in the future I will let it be. It knows what to do! This is a great plant and hardy. I will propagate it and give it as gifts in the future!

Positive Porksniffer On Aug 20, 2009, Porksniffer from Vancouver, BC
Canada wrote:

I live in the Vancouver, Canada area. Bought this plant at a garage sale last year because it was so unique. Didn't know the name of the plant, how to grow it, etc. but finally found it on this site. Even the local garden centers didn't know what it was. Love the plant and it seems to grow fine in our climate here. but I do take it in for the winter just in case. Have to be careful in moving it as I find the branches break easily. Would like to get it in some of the other colors.


Positive Kaelkitty On Apr 7, 2009, Kaelkitty from Adelaide
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

In Australia this lovely plant is commonly known as the "feather duster plant". In my opinion this is actually a fair accurate, if somewhat unkind, description of the flowers. Whatever you call it, it is certainly beautiful!

Positive ladybug61 On May 18, 2008, ladybug61 from Ocala, FL wrote:

When I bought this plant approximately 5 or 6 yrs. ago I planted it in full sun since no information came with it when I bought it and it never did very well. I did know that it was a perennial plant and when it died back in the winter it always came back the following spring but did rather poorly.....then I read that this plant preferred the shade so I proceeded to dig it up and transplant it to a part sun/part shade (more shade than sun) area in my garden and it has thrived beautifully there . When I transplanted it I mixed in a small amount of Black Kow and Osmocote with the soil and it's now full of buds that are just begining to open . I'm going to try rooting a few cuttings when it's finished blooming to see if I can't get a few more of these hardy beauties for my garden.

Positive sandra092862 On Jun 24, 2007, sandra092862 from Augusta, GA wrote:

Plant completely died back in the winter, but has been growing back all year and just started blooming. Beautiful foliage, and the flowers are so different from others. Wonderful addition to my perennial garden. It has been in our garden for several years and is a nice size.

Positive BamaBelle On Dec 3, 2006, BamaBelle from Headland, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I rooted this plant from one that my grandmother had growing in her greenhuse for over 25 years. The parent plant is at least 6 feet tall. WIthin a mnth or two of the new cutting sprouting roots and taking hold, it began to flower. It is now December and is still bloooming...and I don't have a greenhouse!

Positive jeri11 On Aug 13, 2006, jeri11 from Central, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

has anyone heard this plant referred to as a parrot flower?

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jun 11, 2006, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has returned dependably for me for the past couple of years. I find, in our hot, humid, NE Florida summers, the Jacobinas prefer a mostly shady location, but do tolerate some sun. I only recently realized these plants are in the same genus as Shrimp Plants.


Positive BayAreaTropics On Oct 20, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Underated and underused plant with a very tropical look. Grows over 4 feet and almost an everbloomer. With the right fertilizer the leaves turn a very dark green.Does best with regular watering.

Positive paste592 On Aug 10, 2005, paste592 from Westminster, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

I am passionate about this plant -- I got it off a trash pile in a plant store in Baltimore -- I knew in our area it was not hardy outside, but for 28 years I;ve been bringing it indoors, each fall (It's the only plant I go to that much trouble for!.. It blooms INDOORS before I put it out, huge blossoms. Blooms again outside. It gets huge outside in part shade, with woody stems.

I rarely bring the actual plant back in because it's so woody, but just some cuttings --it's the greatest - in-demand-plant I have, and I;m glad to share -- if I lose it, I wouldn't know where to beqin to replace it.

I adore this plant!!

Positive slickfinish On Jan 22, 2005, slickfinish from Panama City, FL wrote:

They do not like the sun. Mine grows great in full shade. It blooms from late spring to early winter in North Florida. We have had a light freeze and it is still green. Looks like it might bloom again soon. I have rooted some cuttings and they look like they are doing fine. Now I will be able to share it with others. I love this plant.

Positive brendabloomer On Jan 20, 2005, brendabloomer from Center, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this plant. I bought mine this past summer and planted it in full sun and it almost died. I dug it up and put it in a pot and put it in FULL SHADE and now is doing great. They don't like full Texas sun! I also broke off some of the stems and just stuck them in some potting soil and have rooted and are doing great also. I will put them all in the ground this spring in a full shade area.

Positive onalee On Oct 22, 2004, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I LOVE these plants - they are carefree and bloom repeatedly all spring and summer! The plants will get quite tall and covered with blooms! We grow them in pretty much full SHADE here in central Florida, I don't recall seeing any in full sun and I haven't tried it myself since they do so well in the shade. Easy to root with cuttings in good soil.

Neutral jayinco On Oct 8, 2004, jayinco from Brighton, CO wrote:

I live in Colorado, not exactly the best place to grow this beautiful plant, but it is growing beautifuly indoors, I'm sure it wouldn't survive the cold winters outdoors. My first plant has barely survived being moved from house to house and from window to window trying to find the spot it will like best. It is now thriving in a full sun on the eastern exposure except for a minor problem with its broad leaves. I can't figure out if the soil is to blame for this problem or ??? When I was first given the plant it grew fast and then the leaves started to like "blister" and turn yellow and fall off. Now I have two TALL plants (the original had several stalks and I cut one stalk, put it in water to promote root growth and repotted it), with growth at the top but nothing but a stalk near the bottom. I am wondering if I can cut all the plants stalks down and place in water again to force root growth and repot all. If I do this I'll have 12 smaller individual plants with "blistered-like" leaves. I wonder if anyone has a suggestion on why the leaves are looking like they do.

Positive MotherNature4 On Aug 5, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

My experience is that hummingbirds and butterflies are both attracted to the deep pink bracts.

Positive CostaRica On Jun 8, 2004, CostaRica from Guayabo de Bagaces, Guanacaste
Costa Rica (Zone 10b) wrote:

Both Justicia Carnea and its close relative, Justicia Aurea grow profusely, here in Costa Rica Justicia Carnea, with its crimson flowers is usually grown as a hedge. The Justicia Aurea is not so commom, and is favoured by butterflies. Both, will root easily, if placed in good soil.

Positive bayouposte On May 25, 2004, bayouposte from Bossier City, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

The velvety pink petals are so lovely and so interesting. Mine is growing in fairly dense shade and is, unfortunately, hidden by achillea in the front of the bed; however, sighting the blooms provides a pleasant surprise. I know where I'll put it next year for a better view and sincerely hope that cuttings will provide me with more of these terrific plants.

Positive mrsmitty On Nov 19, 2003, mrsmitty from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have started this plant successfully from root divisions. They grow fast and bloom nicely.

Positive htop On Aug 18, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX
I have propagated this plant from stem cuttings. Be sure to leave about 4 leaves, pull off all others, dip in a root stimulator making sure that at least 2 notches where leaves used to be are dipped in the root stimulator, place cutting in pot filled with a good potting soil and keep soil moist until new leaves appear.

I planted my new plants in a container in a rose soil mix adding a little more more peat moss, 1 third herb mix (to lighten it for better drainage) and some rabbit manure. The new plants have deep green leaves as opposed to the light green leaves on my other plume flower plants and the leaves are twice as large. These plants have difficulty growing in the alkaline soil here in the northern section of San Antonio. No matter how much Miracid I applied, the plants still struggled to attain a rich leaf color and large bloom size. I have transplanted most of these plants to pots containing the rose soil mix described above and all are thriving in shade and filtered shade. I added rabbit manure and rose soil as a top dressing to one plant that I left in the ground and it has perked up.

If you observe a leaf being eaten, dust with Sevin Dust IMMEDIATELY. I have had all the leaves stripped in 2 days by insects usually at the end of July and in Ausust. The plants grow new leaves, but are very unsightly, to say the least, with no leaves.

They freeze to the ground if we have a cold winter and they are left uncovered, but sprout from the roots in the spring.

The blooms are beautiful and the bloom season long especially when the faded blooms are deadheaded. This is one of my favorite plants especially with the greener foliage now which sets off the pink blooms better.

Neutral Dinu On Aug 18, 2003, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

I bought this plant only yesterday and I love the colour. It is the red/pink one. I'll also buy the yellow one shortly. Very attractive.

Positive DebiJ On Jan 24, 2003, DebiJ wrote:

I am in Victoria, Australia and I have this plant in my front yard where it gets full midday and afternoon sun. Apart from the previous owners hacking it (it is a bit straggly at the bottom, but is getting there) it has the most beautiful flowers. I have tried to take cuttings before, but they have not taken.

Positive 711DALE On Oct 18, 2002, 711DALE wrote:


Neutral jody On Jun 11, 2002, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant survived the mild winter here in zone 7a. It died back, but came back from the roots.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Cut back in early spring, blooms in summer and fall. A white form is available.

Neutral Trish On Aug 13, 2001, Trish from Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Dense clusters of tubular pink to crimson blooms on 4-5 ft stems, blooms mid summer to fall. Calls for partial to full shade, but can be grown in full sun in upper south. Propagation by cuttings in spring.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama
Headland, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Corona, California
Garden Grove, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
Red Bluff, California
San Clemente, California
San Jose, California
Santa Clara, California
Simi Valley, California
Stockton, California
Torrance, California
Apopka, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Groveland, Florida
Hollywood, Florida (2 reports)
Jacksonville, Florida (6 reports)
Kissimmee, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Leesburg, Florida
Miami, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Orange Springs, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Garden, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Ball Ground, Georgia
Jonesboro, Georgia
Leesburg, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Ainaloa, Hawaii
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Colfax, Louisiana
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Independence, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Zachary, Louisiana
Gloster, Mississippi
Broadway, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Carolina, Puerto Rico
Summerville, South Carolina
Lascassas, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Center, Texas
Coppell, Texas
Crockett, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Franklin, Texas
Highlands, Texas
Houston, Texas (5 reports)
Liberty Hill, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Mansfield, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Plano, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Spring, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Farmville, Virginia

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