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Photographed at Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia, a day or so before the buds opened.
The Brazilian plume flower or jacobinia (Justicia carnea), a member of the broad Acanthaceae family is a shade-loving, soft-wooded shrub (ht 1.5m) with large, lush leaves. Thick plumes of white, pale pink or deep pink tubular flowers appear in regular flushes from early summer to late autumn.
It needs hard pruning in late winter, and regular dead-heading during summer will help to promote new blooms. It will also flourish in sunny spots but is useful for shaded sites, as are so many of the Acanthaceae family, which do so well in the Sydney climate.
Whilst it will stand neglect, it responds well to feeding and watering. It is easily propagated from cuttings and is a good companion to hydrangeas, Plectranthus species, ferns and camellias.