Justicia Species, 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
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Magenta (pink-purple)



White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Dothan, Alabama

Headland, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona


Corona, California

Garden Grove, California

Hayward, California

Huntington Beach, California

Lemoore, California

Lemoore Station, California

Los Angeles, California

Mckinleyville, 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

Lithia, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Miami, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida(2 reports)

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Ocklawaha, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Orange Springs, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Panama City, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Starke, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Garden, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida(2 reports)

Augusta, Georgia

Ball Ground, Georgia

Jonesboro, Georgia

Leesburg, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaii

Leilani Estates, Hawaii

Nanawale Estates, Hawaii

Pahoa, Hawaii

Bergen, Hordaland

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Colfax, Louisiana

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Greenwell Springs, Louisiana

Independence, Louisiana

Kentwood, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana(2 reports)

Zachary, Louisiana

Gloster, Mississippi

Broadway, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Carolina, Puerto Rico

Greenville, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Lascassas, Tennessee

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Bryan, Texas

Center, Texas

Coppell, Texas

Crockett, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Franklin, Texas

Highlands, Texas

Houston, Texas(6 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 14, 2018, Victee from Long Sault, Ontario,
Canada wrote:

Weve had this plant for a few years, and it usually blooms twice a year, but has not bloomed this winter, but the biggest problem is that the leaves keep getting brown edges.
I started using a fertilizer this winter, but the problem hasnt resolved.
Does anyone know why my plant is doing this?


On Nov 4, 2015, MissEdee from Jacksonville Beach, FL wrote:

I live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. My Jacobinia are over ten years old and 4-5 feet tall. They seem to be thriving very well next to a fence in partial sunlight. I only bought three at the time, but they keep spreading and multiplying. Love them!


On May 21, 2015, wishnwell from Houston, TX wrote:

Stunning pant. I've had mine in shade for several years (NO hot Houston sun, I've learned), deadheaded fading blooms, and the plant grew with each deadheading. It loved our wet spring and rewarded me with lots of blooms. The rain may have given it a fungus: leaves have yellow spots with brown centers. I'll try propagating from stem cuttings, as the plant can get a bit leggy.


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 int... read more


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?


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.


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? [email protected]


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!


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!


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.



On Apr 7, 2009, Kaelkitty from Robertstown,
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!


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.


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.


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!


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

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


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.



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.


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!!


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.


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.


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.


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 t... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Mir... read more


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.


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.


On Oct 18, 2002, 711DALE wrote:



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.


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.


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.