Ocimum (Becium) obovatum
Ocimum obovatum is a multi-stemmed ground cover that grows to about 30cm. It sprouts annually from a woody rootstock. It is drought resistant and is equally happy in sun or semi-shade. It has beautifully frilly, mauve to white flowers that are whorled at the tips of the branches. Looking at the flowers brings a clue as to the origin of the common name of cat’s whiskers. It’s natural habitat is in grasslands.
Ocimum obovatum is best grown in sun or semi-shade and makes a beautiful addition to a grassland garden, a rockery or as a container plan. Keep dry in winter. It also attracts butterflies.
Blooms are seen in spring and summer in many-flowered clusters on long stalks. Pollination involves a series of butterfly species in habitat, adding to the willing gardener’s reward.