The Q&A Archives: Philippine Violet

Question: While vacationing in Fla. I saw a blue flowering shrub in early Nov. The owner could not say what it was but said she purchased it at a local discount store. I went there with a bloom and they i.d. it as a Philippine violet. Could you tell me more about this plant? Could I treat it as a tropical here in the midwest?

Answer: Phillipine Violet is Barleria cristata. The name commemorates the French botanist, Jacques Barrelier. The inappropriately-named Phillipine violet is a native of India. The flowers are pale violet-blue. It will grow in full to partial shade in soil that is moist to wet. Expect a mature height of 4'-6' tall with equal width. The plant is hardy to Zone 9. Given winter protection, Phillipine violet will grow in your zone 5 garden.

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