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Black Leaf Shooting Star

Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum 'Rubrum'

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Black Leaf Shooting Star (Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum 'Rubrum') at Roger's Gardens

Black Leaf Shooting Star foliage

Black Leaf Shooting Star foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Other Names:  Black Varnish Plant

Description:

A dramatic variety with large lacquered, deep burgundy leaves; primarily grown for foliage; white flowers with purple spots appear throughout the season; a great tropical look in a mixed container

Ornamental Features

Black Leaf Shooting Star's attractive glossy oval leaves emerge crimson in spring, turning burgundy in color the rest of the year. It features dainty white star-shaped flowers with purple spots along the stems from late spring to early fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The dark red stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Black Leaf Shooting Star is a dense herbaceous evergreen tropical plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Black Leaf Shooting Star is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Hanging Baskets

Planting & Growing

This plant is native to the tropics and prefers growing in moist environments with evenly warm conditions all year round. In our climate, it is usually grown as an outdoor annual in the garden or in a container. If you want it to survive the winter, it can be brought in to the house and provided with special care, and then returned to the garden the following season. In its preferred tropical habitat, it can grow to be around 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. However, when grown as an annual or when overwintered indoors, it can be expected to perform differently, and its exact height and spread will depend on many factors; you may wish to consult with our experts as to how it might perform in your specific application and growing conditions.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Black Leaf Shooting Star is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Garden  Container  Basket 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Bark 
Ornamental Features