One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1old-fashioned term for graphite
- ‘For no matter how hard they looked, no one could find a second deposit of plumbago that could be cut into sticks and used to make pencils’
- ‘The only mine in Great Britain which yields plumbago, or black lead as it is called, suitable for pencil-making, is situated in one of the mountains at Borrowdale, in Cumberland, and is about 1000 ft. deep.’
2An evergreen flowering shrub or climber which is widely distributed in warm regions and grown elsewhere as a greenhouse or indoor plant.Also called leadwort
- ‘The planter behind is filled with fragrant vines; two ‘Royal Cape’ plumbagos in red pots flank the front posts.’
- ‘The house still stands - a jolly yellow house, with green roof, and a begnonia and plumbago hedge, with poinsettias in the front garden.’
- ‘I have several blue plumbagos in pots on my patio, and they do very well.’
- ‘Bees hum in the plumbago.’
- ‘Cut back robust greenhouse climbers such as passion flowers and plumbago to within a few inches of the old wood.’
- ‘Pruning to increase flowering is particularly true with some indigenous shrubs such as plumbago or Cape honeysuckle.’
- ‘While the garden's toughest souls - including agaves, plumbago and ornamental grasses - remain healthy enough to prevent us from feeling total despair, other plants are showing signs of stress.’
- ‘Like a wingless albatross I plummeted two storeys into an overgrown plumbago.’
- ‘Prune greenhouse and conservatory climbers, such as plumbago and passionflower.’
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