Asystasia gangetica: Chinese violet

Family: Acanthaceae
Common name: Chinese violet, Creeping foxglove

A very pretty plant, with pretty flowers; you would never expect it to be classified under invasive plants. But there is an agency in Australia dedicated to controlling this invasive plant. Chinese violet gives good ground coverage and can grow on ledges or in pots. Very similar to Creeping oxeye or Sphagneticola Trilobata.

Creeping foxglove can also grow profusely in good sunlight. It requires very little maintenance. Occasional fertilization would increase blooming. Otherwise, just plant it and let it be.

Flowers many vary in color from violet, plain yellow, or yellow flowers with violet shades. In these violet flowers, one of the petals stand out as distinctly violet compared to the other 4 petals. The leaves are used as vegetable and also in herbal remedies in many parts of the world.

But in India, it’s mostly used as an ornamental plant to cover ledge areas. The plant spreads by developing roots from the nodes that touch the ground. It also has a popping seed dispersal mechanism, which disperses the seeds over a large area.

Propagation is from stem cuttings and seeds.

Photo Courtesy: love4gardening.com

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