Lotus berthelotii

Parrot’s Beak

Lotus berthelotii

This unusual and yet striking plant originates from the Canary and Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The slender, prostrate branches of the Lotus berthelotii are clothed in silvery-grey, needle-like leaves resembling Christmas tinsel.

During late spring and early summer scarlet or orange-red flowers are produced amongst the foliage. These brightly coloured blooms look very much like parrot’s beaks or lobster’s claws and are supposedly shaped in this strange manner to facilitate pollination by birds.

Grow the Lotus berthelotii in a sunny position in moderately fertile but extremely well drained soil. They’re ideal for planting in hanging baskets, cascading over walls or scrambling amongst rocks on a bank. Lotus does not enjoy long, extended periods of rainfall, high summer humidity and severe winter frost.

The Gardener