Ceratostigma (//; from the Greek Κερατόστιγμα), or leadwort, plumbago, is a genus of eight species of flowering plants in the family Plumbaginaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Common names are shared with the genus Plumbago.
They are flowering herbaceous plants, subshrubs, or small shrubs growing to 0.3–1 m (0.98–3.28 ft) tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 1–9 cm long, usually with a hairy margin. Some of the species are evergreen, others deciduous. The flowers are produced in a compact inflorescence, each flower with a five-lobed corolla; flower colour varies from pale to dark blue to red-purple. The fruit is a small bristly capsule containing a single seed.
- Ceratostigma abyssinicum (Hochst.) Schwein. & Asch.
- Ceratostigma griffithii C.B.Clarke
- Ceratostigma minus Stapf ex Prain
- Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Bunge)
- Ceratostigma ulicinum Prain
- Ceratostigma willmottianum Stapf
Cultivation and uses
Plants of this genus are valued in the garden for their late summer flower colour and their autumn leaf colour. The following varieties have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-
Ceratostigma has been listed as one of the 38 plants that are used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health. However, according to Cancer Research UK, "there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer".
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- Flora of China: Ceratostigma
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
- Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
- "RHS Plant Selector - Ceratostigma plumbaginoides". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Named to honour Ellen Willmott.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Ceratostigma willmottianum". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Ceratostigma willmottianum 'Forest Blue'". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- D. S. Vohra (1 June 2004). Bach Flower Remedies: A Comprehensive Study. B. Jain Publishers. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-7021-271-3. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Flower remedies". Cancer Research UK. Retrieved September 2013.
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