Nature imitates nature – the golden shrimp plant

plumes of yellow flowers
Golden Shrimp Plants Just Showing Off

What plant has a flower that looks like a tasty seafood treat, but is actually just a fine bedding plant?  The golden shrimp plant produces a yellow bracted flower that sort of looks like a shrimp that is exotic and easy to grow.  A common planting material at many garden centers, the golden shrimp plant will both please and amaze all who grow it.

Originally native to Central and South America, the golden shrimp plant is a perennial evergreen shrub used for borders, mass plantings, foundation plantings, and containers. The plants are normally no taller than three-feet tall and should be planted in full-sun to part part-shade sites.  The pleated, up to six-inch long lance-shaped leaves, provide an attractive backdrop for the exotic flowers.  The complex yellow, four-inch long, cone-shaped inflorescences are composed of four-sided, overlapping, leaf-like bracts.  The true flowers which emerge from between the bracts are tube-like and white the in color.  Most of the flowers can be expected spring through fall.  Golden shrimp plants do enjoy well-drained organic soil that retains moisture as they have low drought-tolerance, and no salt-tolerance.

Remove old blooms to stimulate new flowers and give the plant a bushier appearance.  Golden shrimp plants can get leggy and some judicious pruning will help keep the plants in bounds.  New plants can be propagated using four-inch softwood tip cuttings and rooting hormone as per label directions.

The golden shrimp plant is a fascinating Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ approved plant that is colorful and intriguing.  While also called golden candle or lollypop plant, to see a blooming bed of these botanical “shrimp” is a sight to behold.  Make sure that “all you can plant” golden shrimp plants are on your gardening task list today!  For more information on all types of flowering perennial plants suitable for our area, or to ask a question, you can also call the Master Gardener Volunteer Helpdesk on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm at 764-4340 for gardening help and insight into their role as an Extension volunteer.  Ralph E. Mitchell is the Director/Horticulture Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Charlotte County. He can be reached at 941-764-4344 or Connect with us on social media. Like us on Facebook @CharlotteCountyExtension and follow us on Instagram @ifascharco.

Gilman, E. F. & Meerow,  A. (1999) Pachystachys lutea. The University of Florida Extension Services, IFAS.
Mahr, S. (2024) Golden Shrimp Plant, Pachystachys lutea University of Wisconsin– Madison.
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design (2022) The University of Florida Extension Services, IFAS
Missouri Botanical Garden (2024). Pachystachys lutea.


ralph mitchell
Posted: June 14, 2024

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes
Tags: Bedding Plant, Golden Shrimp Plant, Pachystachys Lutea

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