Common Names
Cape Leadwart, Celestina, Malacara, Azulina, Jasmine Azul

Hawaiian Names
Ilie'e, Hilie'e

Scientific Name
Plumbago auriculata Lam.



Whole Plant





Location On Campus

This plant can be found next to the stairs between Ka'oleioku and Keli'imaika'i. This plant is also found in the field behind Ka'oleioku. Lastly this plant can be found near the rocks by Keawe Gym.

Natural Habitat

Plumbago auriculata lam. can be found in almost any temperate and subtropical areas. The Plumbago plant grows well in full or partial sun, the soil is rich, well drained and fertile. Also, Plumbago has a high drought tolerance level, and needs only medium moisture.

Cultural Information

The Plumbago species consist of 15 different types 5 out of which are native to South Africa. Plumbago auriculata was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands. Plumbago was used to treat warts, broken bones, and other wounds. Also used to treat headaches, dispel bad dreams, and to blacken tattoos.

Plant Description


  • Fibrous root- slender roots branch out from the main root


  • Herbaceous stem- soft, green, flexible
  • Grows straight up
  • Dicot- vascular tissue forms a ring in stem


  • Plumbago loses foliage at the end of the growth season
  • Compound leaf- many leaflets attached to the main stem
  • Small green, waxy leaves
  • Margin- entire
  • Venation- pinnate


  • Blooms all year long
  • Does not flower until year two of growth
  • Less sun causes reduced flowering
  • Pale blue, white or purple in color
  • 5 petals arranged in a pinnate pattern


  • Barbed fruit capsules found at the base of flower
  • Not very noticeable on first glance
  • No ornamental fruit


  • Able to be grown by seeds
  • Seeds are found in a capsule located also at the base of the flower
  • Seed capsule retains stickiness to help disperse seeds
  • Seeds are dispersed by attaching themselves to birds and other animals


  • Plumbago attracts butterflies

Life Cycle/

  • Reproduction by pollination
  • Very fast growth rate
  • Live only about 1-2 years
  • Growth is particularly rapid during Spring


  • Can be cultivated in pots as well as gardens
  • House plants are usually relatively compact due to pruning

Interesting Facts:

  • Species is deciduous
  • Plumbago is an evergreen shrub

Web Site Links

Plumbago auriculata

This site gives information about uses of the plumbago plant.


To see beautiful pictures, and brief information see this site.



Cape Plumbago. 1998-2003. Philippe Faucon, Web Manager. 10 March 2003. < Plants/Plumbaginaceae/ Plumbago_auiculata.htm>.

Clay, Horace and James C. Hubbard. The Hawai'i Garden Tropical Shrubs. Honolulu: The University Press of Hawai'i, 1977.

Dr. Gerry Carr. Dr. Gerry Carr, Web Manager. University of Hawaii at Manoa. 11 March 2003. <>.

Family Plumbaginaceae. Marcus, Web Manager. 8 March 2003. <http://www.csdl.ta mu. edu/FLORA/cgi/ gateway_family?fam=Plumbaginaceae>.

Gardening: Shrubs. 2001. Hooper Production Ltd. 10 March 2003. <>.

Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Feb.2001. Missouri Botanical Garden. 9 March 2003. < /gardeninghelp / plantfinder/codea/A542.shtml>.

Neal, Marie. In Gardens of Hawai'i. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1948.

Plants for your Home. Mary Efanti, Web Manager. VALENTINEfloralcreations. 11 March 2003. <>.

Plumbaginaceae. Richard J. Schmidt, Web Manager. 1994. < /BotDermP/PLUM.html>.

Plumbago auriculata. John Scheper, Web Manager. 1997-2002. 11 March 2003. <>.

Plumbago auriculata Lam.. Alice Aubrey, Web Manager. Dec. 2001. Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden. 10 March 2003. <>.

Plumbago auriculata (P.capensis). Brad Monroe and Christine Clark, Web Manager. 27 January 2003. Cuyamaca College. 10 March 2003. < characteristic%20 pages/Plumbago_auriculata.asp>.

Plumbago. University of Florida. 9 March 2003. <>.

 Taxon: Plumbago auriculata Lam. . Dr. J. H. Wiersema, Web Manager. 11 March 2003. National Germplasm Resourses Laboratory. March 10, 2003. <http://www.ars-`~sbmljw/istalistp2.html>.

Wagner, Warren L., Derral R. Herbest and S.H. Sohmer. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i Revised Edition Volume 2. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1948.

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