Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii (Variegated False Eranthemum)

  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0005
  • Botanical Name: Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii (syn. Pseuderanthemum reticulata)
  • Common Name: Variegated False Eranthemum, El Dorado, El Dorado False Eranthemum, El Dorado Eranthemum, Yellow Veined Eranthemum
  • Variety: carruthersii (See Additional Notes at the bottom of the page)
  • Family: Acanthaceae
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

  • Native To: Melanesia 

Landscaping Information

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Texture: Dense
  • Form: Upright-broad
  • Height (on average, in landscape use):  4'- 6'
  • Height to Spread Ratio: 1:1
  • Growth Rate: Medium
  • Landscape Values: Background, Border, Color, Edging, Facer, Filler, Foundation, Framing, Hedge (large one really), Mass, Screen, Space Division
  • Outstanding Quality: Foliage Characters
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii growing tightly between a walkway and a wall. 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Botanical Descriptions

  • Flowers: 5 white petals with pink to magenta colored throat with speckles extending into the petals. Stamens and pistil are pink to magenta. Bilaterally symmetric. Arranged on a terminal inflorescence spike. 
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii flowers
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii flowers
Photo by Matthew Gaston
  • Fruits: Do seen, but if they were to be seen, they are predicted to be club-shaped.
  • Foliage Color: Young/immature: Yellow Green with pinkish venation. Mature: Bright Medium Green to Dark Green
  • Foliage Tip: Acute
  • Foliage Base: Rounded to Obtuse
  • Petiole: 0.25"-0.75"
  • Stipules: N/A
  • Margins: Smooth
  • Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
  • Leaf Shape: Ovate  
  • Leaf Type: Simple
  • Leaf Texture: Thick, leathery, glabrous, firm, prominent venation.
  • Leaf Special Notes: Golden colored leaves that mature to green are a key feature. 
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii leaves at the apical meristem 
Photo by Matthew Gaston
  • Bark and Trunk: Smooth light brown to grayish brown

Horticultural Information

  • Light Preference: Full Sun
  • Light Tolerances: Semi-Sun
  • Soil Preferences: Slightly Acidic, Loam, Moist, Well-Drained
  • Tolerances: Salt Air, Moderate Winds, Humidity
  • Water Requirements: Moderate
  • Notes on Maintenance: An easy plant to take maintain when provided sufficient room to grow in both height and width. Often treated like a smaller shrub (think Buxus or Murraya), but does not fill in densely with new growth in the same manner. If using this plant as a hedge, ensure that there is at least 4 feet of width for the plant to grow and maintain a full, dense, natural appearance. Advisably, this plant is not a good hedge, but rather a good screen or space dividing plant when given room to grow. Trimming will promote new shoot growth, which is favored for its yellow to green colors and pink venation. Does well in somewhat coastal conditions with salt air. 
  • Propagation: Cutting 
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 11a
  • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): 1,  Low Risk
  • Additional Notes: A highly variable species, some taxonomists do not recognize the varieties, but rather accept all phenotypes as part of a diverse species. Some taxonomists and botanists argue that these varieties are more properly cultivars as they do not seem to appear as such in the wild. The genus derives its name from it members being previously classified as Eranthemum, but then separated; hence "False Eranthemum". 
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii along the beach front at Waikiki, Honolulu, HI.
Photo by Matthew Gaston


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