Eustoma grandiflorum Lisianthus1

Edward F. Gilman 2


Lisianthus is a wonderful flowering plant growing to about 15-inches-tall and used as an annual in landscapes throughout the country (Fig. 1). Its spectacular, purple flower gives it a distinction unmatched by other annual bedding plants. Foliage is an unusual blue-green.

Figure 1. Lisianthus.
Figure 1.  Lisianthus.

General Information

Scientific name: Eustoma grandiflorum
Pronunciation: yoo-STOE-muh gran-dif-FLOR-uh
Common name(s): lisianthus
Family: Gentianaceae
Plant type: annual; biennial
USDA hardiness zones: all zones (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 7: Jun; Jul
Planting month for zone 8: May; Jun; Jul
Planting month for zone 9: Apr; May
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Mar; Apr; Oct; Nov
Origin: native to North America
Uses: mass planting
Availablity: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spread: .5 to 1 feet
Plant habit: upright
Plant density: open
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: ovate
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: not applicable
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: not applicable
Fall characteristic: not applicable


Flower color: purple
Flower characteristic: showy


Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit cover: no fruit
Fruit color: not applicable
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 6 to 12 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: not applicable
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: may self-seed each year
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Since individual plants fall over as there grow taller, most people plant several to many plants together. The loose, open habit of the plant makes it nicely suited for an informal border. Unlike many other bedding plants, a mass planting does not form a nice, smooth mass of color. Instead, an irregular mass of purple covers the ground.


1. This document is FPS-206, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FPS-206

Date: 2015-05-26
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