Otacanthus caeruleus’s unique flowers with distinct white eyes

Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue)

Showy purple flowers of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017This Brazilian Snapdragon blooms all year round and repeatedly.

A fuss-free subshrub with uniquely shaped violet-blue to purple flowers with a distinct white eye at the base.

Flowers are long-lasting and popularly used as cut flowers.

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

  • Botanical Name: Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue) blooming in abundance, 5 April 2017Otacanthus caeruleus (syn.: Otacanthus azureus)
  • Common Names: Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue.
  • Family Name: Scrophulariaceae.
  • Etymology: The genus name, Otacanthus comes from the Greek word akanqoj which means thorny ears. The specific epithet, caeruleus, is a Latin word, meaning sky-blue, referring to the colour of the flowers.
  • Origin: Captivating flowers and lanceolate-shaped leaves of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017Native to eastern Brazil.
    It is also cultivated worldwide.
  • Plant type: An ornamental and perennial subshrub.
  • Features: Otacanthus caeruleus is a species from the genus, Otacanthus that consists of six species of flowering plants.
    A compact subshrub that reaches about 1.0 – 1.2 m tall.
    Gorgeous mauve-coloured blooms of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017The green, sessile and lanceolate-shaped eaves have depressed, pinnate veins and are oppositely arranged.
    The leaves have a minty pine fragrance.
    The stems are woody and brownish.
    The inflorescence is a terminal spike of solitary flowers with a green calyx and blue to purple, Wonderful purplish-pink blossoms of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017bilabiate corolla with a conspicuous white spot on the lower lip.
    Captivating flowers, measuring about 3.5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, have a characteristic large flat lower lip.
    The flowers have a slender, 2.5 cm long floral tube and are bilaterally symmetrical with fan-shaped upper and lower lips.
  • Culture (Care): Unique flowers of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue) with its distinctive white eyes, 4 April 2011Otacanthus caeruleus  or Amazon Blue can be easily grown with minimum care.
    Light: Full sun to semi-shade.
    Moisture: Moderate water requirements.
    Soil: Humus-enriched, loamy and well-drained soils. It prefers an acidic soil.
    Others: Deadhead the flowers and trim off the withered/shrivelled leaves to keep it tidy and aesthetically pleasing. Plants will spring back after a hard prune. Generally free from serious diseases and pests.
    For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10 – 11.
    Beautiful blue flowers of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017For non-hardy regions, grow Brazilian Snapdragon as a potted plant and bring them to overwinter indoors. Propagating from stem cuttings and grown in a greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 18°C will yield flowering plants within 3-6 months.
    Terminal spike of solitary flowers of Otacanthus caeruleu (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017Reduce watering during cooler temperatures, allowing soil to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Propagation: Easily propagated from stem cuttings. Alternatively from seeds that are obtained by self-pollination will germinate within 1-2 weeks.
  • Usage: Showy blossoms of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue) in deep blue, 5 April 2017Otacanthus caeruleus or Brazilian Snapdragon are excellent in parks and public gardens, as well as in small home gardens.
    Ideal to be grown on the ground in garden borders or beds with its ornamental flowers.
    Suitable as a ground-cover plants.
    Great for container planting or above-ground planters.
    Gorgeous blue flower of Otacanthus caeruleus (Brazilian Snapdragon, Amazon Blue), 5 April 2017Plant them if you lust for blue-coloured and unique blossoms. The showy flowers are long-lasting and make great cut flowers in a vase.
    A magnet to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

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