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Coleonema pulchellum ‘Danny's Gold Sport’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)
Coleonema pulchellum ‘Danny's Gold Sport’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)

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Zone
Zones 7-9, 14-24
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Coleonema

Breath of Heaven
Rutaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

Native to South Africa. Plants of filmy appearance and delicate character, with slender branches and narrow, heath-like leaves that are fragrant when brushed or bruised. Tiny flowers are borne freely over a long season in winter and spring. Plants can continue with scattered bloom at any other time.

You may find plants in nurseries under either Coleonema or their former name, Diosma. Your choice amounts to a white- or pink-flowering breath of heaven.

Good on banks or hillsides, or along paths where you can break off and bruise a twig to enjoy the foliage’s fragrance. Frequently used next to buildings, though a little wispy for such use.

Plant in light soil; fast drainage is a must. Quite drought-tolerant once established but better with regular water. To control size and promote compactness, shear lightly after main bloom is over. For an even filmier look, thin out some interior stems.

Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)
Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’ (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)

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Coleonema pulchellum

Grows to 5 ft. tall and as wide, occasionally to 10 ft. Bears tiny pink flowers. The species is often sold as Diosma pulchra. ‘Sunset Gold’ has yellow foliage and grows to 1 1/2 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide.

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