Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 883 Congea tomentosa

Common Names: wooly congea, shower orchid, shower of orchids Family: Verbenaceae (verbena or vervain Family)

wooly congea
Wooly congea lights up a pergola at Miami's Fairchild Tropical Garden.


Wooly congea is a fuzzy plant: Fuzzy leaves, fuzzy stems, fuzzy flower bracts. It can be grown as a trailing or climbing vine to 20 ft (6.1 m) long, or pruned as a shrub. Wooly congea has very pretty light green leaves, 6-8 in (15.2-20.3 cm) long. They are evergreen with prominent veins and are arranged in opposite pairs. The actual flowers are tiny and inconspicuous, but they are borne in the center of three showy white 1 in (2.5 cm) long bracts that look like velvety propellers. The bracts gradually change through pink, lavender, and finally gray over the course of several weeks. The abundant inflorescences each consist of several flowers with their attending bracts showering all over the foliage. Wooly congea blooms in late winter with such a total performance that you can hardly see the foliage.


Wooly congea, Congea tomentosa, is native to Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand.


Wooly congea is easy to grow in almost any soil type. Prune after flowering to keep in bounds. Light: Full sun. Moisture: Water regularly. Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 - 11. This is a tropical that does not tolerate frost. Propagation: Semiripe tip cuttings can be rooted in summer with bottom heat. Wooly congea can be grown from seed, too.
wooly congea
Velvety propeller shaped bracts surround the inconspicuous flowers.


Wooly congea is a vine or sprawling shrub for tropical gardens, often grown in southern Florida and southern California. It is usually grown on a trellis or pergola or allowed to scramble over a fence. Whole branches with their flowering clusters are useful in cut flower arrangements.


Wooly congea is grown for its wintertime display of showy petal-like bracts. It puts on a truly spectacular display, the whole vine almost completely covered with white and pink. Even when not in bloom, this is a beautiful vine with its soft and velvety pale green foliage.

Steve Christman 12/7/00; updated 5/21/04, 10/25/07

Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
for pots and containers
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages

Congea species profiled on Floridata:

Congea tomentosa

( wooly congea, shower orchid, shower of orchids )

More Floridata:

Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC