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Plectranthus verticillatus (Swedish Ivy)


Scientific Name

Plectranthus verticillatus (L.f.) Druce

Common Names

Swedish Ivy, Swedish Begonia, Whorled Plectranthus, Creeping Charlie, Gossip Spurflower, Money Plant


Plectranthus nummularius, Plectranthus thunbergii, Ocimum racemosum, Ocimum verticillatum

Scientific Classification

Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Ocimeae
Genus: Plectranthus


Plectranthus verticillatus is a perennial, groundcover up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The leaves are often glossy, soft, round to obovate, light to dark green above, sometimes deep purple below, semi-succulent, up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) across, with crenate to broadly-toothed margins and borne on rectangular stems. The flowers are white, pale mauve or pale pink and appear sporadically throughout the year, but more abundantly in spring and late fall.

Plectranthus verticillatus (Swedish Ivy)

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USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Plectranthus species are easily cultivated and require little extra attention or special treatment. They enjoy well-composted soil and, as a rule, thrive in semi-shade or cool positions on south-facing aspects. These plants are ideally suited to growth under the shade of trees. They are generally shallow rooted and enjoy adequate water, but Plectranthus do store water in their stems and are resistant to prolonged periods of drought.

These plants are often grown for their attractive foliage, flowers, or both and vary in their growth forms from dense prostrate ground covers to sub-shrubs and large shrubs.

Although they are frost tender Plectranthus are usually grown in shady, protected places and, as such, are afforded some protection from frost. Because of they all flower at the end of the growing season, frost does not affect flowering. If the plants are affected by frost, they can be cut back at the end of winter and will grow out rapidly. Once the plants have been established for a year or more they become woodier at the base and are more resistant to frost damage. See more at How to Grow and Care for Plectranthus.


Plectranthus verticillatus is native to South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique.


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