(Lush Lavender Spur Flower) Plumes of lavender blue flowers rise from the lush, richly colored foliage of Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Wonder' on velvety, reddish-purple spikes. The coarsely toothed, mid-green leaves are reddish-purple on their undersides. Zulu Wonder is perennial in USDA hardiness zones where winters are mild; in colder winter zones, it's a lavish annual.
Zulu Wonder is a trailing Plectranthus that loves partial shade or locations with morning sun and afternoon shade. It tolerates heat and low-water conditions. You can grow it in hanging baskets or planters, as groundcover, or as a houseplant. Plectranthus are fine companion plants for many Salvias due to also being members of the mint family. Like Salvia, it requires soil that drains well.
This extravagant yet easy-to-cultivate plant is likely a cross with Plectranthus zuluensis, a mostly upright plant that shares similar flower color with Zulu Wonder. However, similar to P. ciliatus, Zulu Wonder is procumbent to decumbent. The branches of procumbent plants creep along the ground without rooting; decumbent means that the tips of their branches arch upward.
Plectranthus are commonly called spur flowers due to the tubular extension at the base of flowers in some species. An example is Plectranthus fruticosus, the first type identified in the genus. French botanist Charles Louis L'Heritier de Brutelle (1746-1800) relied on P. fruticosus when naming the genus in 1788. Actually, few Plectranthus have spurs. P. ciliatus, P. zuluensis, and Zulu Wonder have none. Yet Zulu Wonder is commonly called Lush Lavender Spur Flower.