881 Angelonia angustifoliaCommon Names: angelonia, summer snapdragon Family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort Family)
Angelonia is an erect little perennial with smooth stems and narrow 2-3 in (5-7.6 cm) leaves with toothed margins and pointed tips. Some people say the foliage smells like apples. The flowers are rose lilac to violet to blue, almost an inch across and borne in slender upright spikes to 8 in (20 cm) long. The flowers bloom over a long period in summer - 4-6 weeks in temperate climates and even longer in zones 9-11. Angelonia is evergreen with soft (not woody) stems and a bushy habit, and gets 12-18 in (30.5-45.7 cm) tall with a spread of about 12 in (30.5 cm). 'Alba' has white flowers and 'Blue Pacifica' had two-toned flowers in white and indigo blue. 'Angelmist' is a new offering from Ball Horticultural Company and available in garden centers nationwide. It comes in six different colors and is reportedly extremely vigorous and showy, and gets about 2 ft (0.6 m) tall.
Angelonia is native to Mexico and the West Indies.
CultureLight: Full sun. Moisture: Angelonia should have regular watering for best performance, but established plantings are moderately drought tolerant. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. Angelonia is a perennial in zones 9-11. Elsewhere it is grown as an annual or in a container to be brought indoors in cold weather. Propagation: Propagate angelonia from tip cuttings, by division of the root mass, or by seed. For a head start, sow seed indoors at 70-75 F (21-24 C), 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost. Of course, the patented cultivar 'Angelmist' may not be commercially propagated without a propagation license from the patent holder.
With their short stature and long lasting colorful blooms, angelonias are perfect as summer bedding plants. For a massed effect, space plants 9-12 in (23-30.5 cm) apart. They also make great container plants for porch planters and window boxes. In zones 9-11 use as flowering edging in front of perennial beds and borders. They're good for cut flowers too.
There are about 30 species of Angelonia native to the tropical and subtropical New World. Most are not well known in cultivation. The new 'Angelmist' series has already won several "best of the year" awards at university trial gardens.
Steve Christman 12/1/00; updated 7/26/03, 9/14/03, 3/18/11