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Metarungia longistrobus

Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Common names: Sunbird Bush, Orange-lips (E); Sonbekkiebos (A);

Native to: Southern Africa
Shrub
A hardy evergreen shrub with unique, peachy-orange flowers.

Metarungia longistrobus

EVERGREEN

FULL SUN

SEMI-SHADE

SEMI FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

2m x 2m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Metarungia longistrobus

DESCRIPTION

A dense shrub which, true to its common name, attracts sunbirds to your garden.  The shrub is evergreen with glossy, greyish-green leaves.  It bears unique, ribbon-like flowers with peachy-orange petals which are displayed on spikes above the foliage.

The plant flowers for a long period in late summer through to mid-winter and can tolerate deep shade.  If conditions are favourable, it may even flower again in spring.

The shrub branches at the base to form a rounded, bushy shrub.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Rocky wooded mountain slopes, forest and thicket.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
The flowers attract sunbirds and bees to the garden.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
Water moderately.
MAINTENANCE
Low maintenance.
Give the shrub a light pruning in winter to encourage it to become more bushy and thus produce more flower spikes. As the flower spikes are produced at the branch ends this will make for a more attractive looking plant.
LANDSCAPING USES
Plant this attractive shrub in a mixed border to create a focal point. It can also be planted in a large container.
The Sunbird Bush can also be used to create an informal hedge.
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Country, Forest, Rockery, Woodland
FLOWERS
The flowers are 2-lipped and approximately 5cm long. The upper lip is long, narrow, hooded and erect and the lower lip is rolled and twisted. The anthers and stigma are positioned on the underside of the upper lip. The flower spikes are 5–9 cm long at the tips of branches. The flowers emerge from between large, closely overlapping, green bracts, giving the inflorescence a cone-like appearance.
FOLIAGE
The leaves are narrowly elliptic with an entire margin, and taper at both ends. They are glossy grey-green and mature to a slightly darker green. They vary in size from 12–20 cm long and 4–7 cm broad.
FRUIT
The small, club-shaped fruit is green and ripens to brown. When the seeds are ripe, the seed capsule explodes to scatter the seeds on the ground.
SEED
The seeds are flattened dark brown discs, 5–6 mm in diameter.
PESTS & DISEASES
Seldom attacked by pests and disease.
CULTIVATION
Metarungia longistrobus is easily propagated from seeds and soft wood cuttings.

5 Responses

  1. Hi Nic

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook and for sharing our love for indigenous plants.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. Baie lief vir die nuweling in my tuin.Dit gesnoei.Reaksie uitmuntend.Blommal geraak.Sal dit aanbeveel aan almal wat inheems dink

  3. Hi Monica

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    The sunbird bush doesn’t have an aggressive root system and should not damage paving.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  4. Can I get advice about the root system of the Sunbird Bush. Invasive? Damage pavings etc?
    Thank you
    Monica

  5. This plant has an incredible tap toot. It’s roots are truly remarkable. Not aggressive though.
    Very very hardy.
    Ian

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