71101It is really an evergreen shrub with limber stems; but lavender starflower, Grewia caffra, can work almost like a rambling vine. It does not actually climb or grip anything. Like the canes of a climbing rose, it can be tied onto a trellis or fence as an espalier. As a free standing shrub, the arching stems should be pruned selectively. Shearing deprives them of their natural form, and inhibits bloom.

Espaliered plants can reach the eaves. Free standing shrubs have the potential to get as high and wide, but take more time. Alternatively, lavender starflower can be trained as a small patio tree. The leaves look like elm leaves, with the same sandy texture. The lavender star-shaped flowers are as wide as a quarter. They are not abundant, but they bloom as long as the weather is warm. Lavender starflower does as well with full sun as it does in partial shade.

2 thoughts on “Lavender Starflower

    1. It is not native here. It is from Africa, but I do not remember where. (‘Africa’ does not narrow it down much. That is a big place.) I actually do not like it much. I try not to say so in my articles. I do not like how gardeners shear it and ruin the form. My colleague down south does well with it espaliered on fences, and pruned selectively.

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