Ocimum obovatum

Water Needs

moderate

Ocimum obovatum
Perennial
Cat's Whiskers

30 cm

Size

Light Conditions

sun

Frost

hardy

Flowers

white to mauve; September to February; spring summer

sun; rockery; semi-shade; container; wildlife butterflies; paving; slope bank; walls; clay soils;

Garden Situation

Habitat

grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; bushveld

Region

subtropical east coast; thicket; highveld; bushveld savanna

Rain Season

summer

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Description

Ocimum obovatum subsp. obovatum (Cat’s Whiskers), a fast-growing, evergreen plant with beautiful mauve/white flowers that attract butterflies to pollinate the flowers. This beautiful plant, like the rest of the grassland species, is drought-tolerant, easy to grow and very rewarding. The Cat’s Whiskers forms an attractive flat carpet amongst the grasses, and can be grown in shade as well as sun. During winter, the leaves and branches of this small shrub/groundcover go into winter rest, but at the beginning of spring it is cut back, and the plant sprouts fresh growth again. A plant specialist suggests Becium obovatum is not available from nurseries, but a vaguely similar-looking weedy Ocimum sp. never seen in the wild, may be incorrectly sold in nurseries as Becium (Ocimum) obovatum. Provincial distribution Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West.

Ocimum obovatum
Ocimum obovatum