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Coral Creeper
Coral Creeper
Coral Creeper

Coral Creeper

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Coral Creeper 
Scientific Name: Barleria repens
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History/general species info: Comes from the forested area of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa northwards to tropical Africa. The genus was named by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753 to honor Jacques Barrelier (1606-1673), a French physician, botanist, plant collector, author and Dominican monk who is often cited as the Rev. James Barrelier.

Characteristics: Fast-growing. Small shrub with small rounded soft glossy leaves and pink-red flowers. Evergreen. Bloomtime: Summer/Fall. Salt tolerant. Sun/Light Shade. The tubular pinkish-red flowers are 2 inches long and flare out to over 1 inch wide. They are tubular, fairly large and appear primarily from late summer through fall with a scattering of bloom throughout the year. Grows best in cool coastal sun or partial shade. In dense shade it becomes lanky and does not flower well.

Native: no, South Africa

Flower: yes; salmon

Planting / Care: Drought tolerant spreading shrub. Winter hardiness: 25-30 degrees. Typically grows as a small rounded to spreading shrub to 1-2 feet tall by 3 feet wide or more but if given some support it can climb up to 6 feet tall. The stems of this plant can root along the ground, allowing it to cover a large area. Performs best in a well-drained soil with regular irrigation. Hardy to 28 F. Prune hard after flowering in winter to keep tidy. It is a tough, fast growing plant that adapts well to varying conditions. It makes a great container plant or large scale groundcover and is particularly suited for spilling over a wall, so its cascading habit can best be appreciated.

Size and Spacing: Height: 1-2’ Spread: spreading

Light requirement:  Sun to part shade

Wildlife: Butterflies, general wildlife

University of Floridia

Photo credit: Ann Smith