In this article, we will deeply explore the fascinating world of Plumbago. From its origins to its relevance today, we will immerse ourselves in a journey that will allow us to thoroughly understand its impact on different aspects of society. We will analyze its influence in fields as diverse as culture, economics and politics, unraveling its multiple facets and its role in shaping the contemporary world. Through a comprehensive analysis, we will explore the challenges and opportunities that Plumbago represents, as well as possible implications for the future. At the end of this journey, we hope to have given our readers a deeper and more complete understanding of Plumbago, opening new perspectives to reflect and debate its importance in today's world.

Plumbago auriculata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Genus: Plumbago
Tourn. ex L. (1753)
Type species
Plumbago europaea

23; see text

  • Dyerophytum Kuntze (1891)
  • Findlaya Bowdich (1825)
  • Molubda Raf. (1838)
  • Plumbagidium Spach (1841)
  • Thela Lour. (1790)
  • Vogelia Lam. (1792), nom. illeg.

Plumbago is a genus of 23 species of flowering plants in the family Plumbaginaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the world. Common names include plumbago and leadwort (names which are also shared by the genus Ceratostigma).


Plumbago indica
Plumbago zeylanica

The species include herbaceous plants and shrubs growing to 0.5–2 m (1.6–6.6 ft) tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, entire, 0.5–12 cm (0.20–4.72 in) long, with a tapered base and often with a hairy margin. The flowers are white, blue, purple, red, or pink, with a tubular corolla with five petal-like lobes; they are produced in racemes.

The flower calyx has glandular trichomes (hairs), which secrete a sticky mucilage that is capable of trapping and killing insects; it is unclear what the purpose of these trichomes is; protection from pollination by way of "crawlers" (ants and other insects that typically do not transfer pollen between individual plants), or possible protocarnivory.

Mature plumbago leaves often have a whitish residue on their undersides, a feature that can confuse gardeners. While this white material resembles a powdery mildew disease or a chemical spray deposit, it is actually a natural exudate from "chalk" glands that are found on the Plumbago species.


The generic name, derived from the Latin words plumbum ("lead") and agere ("to resemble"), was first used by Pliny the Elder (23-79) for a plant known as μολύβδαινα (molybdaina) to Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40-90). This may have referred to its lead-blue flower colour[citation needed], the ability of the sap to create lead-colored stains on skin, or Pliny's belief that the plant was a cure for lead poisoning.


Plants of the World Online accepts 23 species.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Plumbago Tourn. ex L." Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  2. ^ Schlauer, Jan (1997). ""New" data relating to the evolution and phylogeny of some carnivorous plant families". Carnivorous Plant Newsletter. 26 (2). International Carnivorous Plant Society: 34–38. doi:10.55360/cpn262.js506. S2CID 254773038.
  3. ^ Doug Caldwell. New thrips found on Plumbago (PDF). Collier County Extension, University of Florida & Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
  4. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. Vol. 3 M-Q. CRC Press. p. 2117. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6.
  5. ^ Austin, Daniel F. (2004). Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press. pp. 527–528. ISBN 978-0-8493-2332-4.
  6. ^ μολύβδαινα. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  7. ^ Schmelzer, G.H.; A. Gurib-Fakim (2008). Medicinal Plants. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. p. 427. ISBN 978-90-5782-204-9.
  8. ^ Burke, Don (2005). The Complete Burke's Backyard: the Ultimate Book of Fact Sheets. Murdoch Books. p. 268. ISBN 978-1-74045-739-2.

External links