71213The Latin name is easy to confuse with the sacred flowers of an aquatic perennial from tropical regions of Asia, or a funny looking British sport coupe. Lotus berthelotii is a diminutive terrestrial perennial known as parrot’s beak. It gets only about a foot high, and spreads to only two or three feet wide. It cascades nicely from hanging pots, and is actually rarely planted out in the garden.

The bright reddish orange flowers bloom mostly in the warmth of spring and summer, but can bloom any time they are neither too hot nor too cool. They are about an inch long and ‘pea-shaped’, but they really look like parrot beaks. The finely textured gray foliage is comprised of small compound leaves that are divided into three or five very narrow leaflets that look like hemlock needles.

Parrot’s beak likes full sun and good drainage. It rots easily if soil is always damp. In hanging pots, it is usually sheltered from frost through winter, or can at least be moved to shelter prior to frost. Parrot’s beak can cascade nicely over the rims of urns of mixed perennials or annuals, but dies back through winter where such urns are too exposed. It is often grown as a warm season annual.

12 thoughts on “Parrot’s Beak

    1. You know, when I grew it back in the early 1990s, I did not like it much. It did not seem to be as colorful as some of the other crops were were growing. However, we could not grow them fast enough. They were quite popular.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are the second to say so. Perhaps because the picture is a close up. The flowers are not as big as they look. They are a nice orange, but are not as flashy as most other hanging potted plants.


    1. Wow, so many people like that picture. I did not think that it was all that impressive. The flowers are not big at all. I am getting a new appreciation for it though. Sadly, it would be an annual there.

      Liked by 1 person

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