Megaskepasma erythrochlamys

Brazilian Red Cloak

Common name(s): Brazilian Red Cloak, Red Justicia

Scientific name: Megaskepasma erythrochlamys

Plant family: Acanthaceae

Origin: Tropical rain forests of Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador

Description: Large, bushy evergreen shrub. Grows up to 10 feet and 10 feet wide. Large, deeply veined leaves, small white flowers and bright red scarlet bracts.

Growing Conditions: Grows best in moist, rich organic soil that is well drained. Flowers throughout the year. Light shade or under-story of large trees. Protect from west, hot afternoon sun.

Wildlife: Nectar for insects and butterflies. Possible hummingbird attractor due to scarlet bracts where white flowers hide.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens: Donated in 2012.

Location in Gardens: Zone 1-front trail from house.

Additional Information: Excellent plant for showy color throughout the year. Use in garden landscape as a screen with smaller semi-shade plants such as caladiums, annuals and ferns underneath. Place small plant in decorative pot in enclosed pool area for screen. Propagation from “woody” stems are easy. Give as gift to a friend.