Scaevola aemula (Fan Flower, Etc.)

Scaevola aemula (Fan Flower) after I brought it home on June 6, 2017.

Scaevola, Fan Flowers, Half Flowers, Fairy Fan Flower

Scaevola aemula

skee-VO-luh  EM-yoo-luh

Synonyms of Scaevola aemula (3) (Updated on 12-26-22 from Plants of the World Online): Lobelia aemula Kuntze, Merkusia aemula de Vriese, Merkusia sinuata de Vriese

Scaevola aemula R.Br. is the correct and accepted name for this species of Fan Flower. It was named and described by Robert Brown in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae in 1810.

The genus, Scaevola L., was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in the 2nd edition of Mantissa Plantarum Altera in 1771.

As of 12-26-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 107 species in the Scaevola genus. It is a member of the plant family Goodeniaceae with 7 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.  


Scaevola aemula flowers on 6-6-17, #342-12.

I found this neat plant at Wagler’s Greenhouse while looking for plants for the refurbished south bed. I asked Mrs. Wagler what it was because the pots weren’t labeled and she said it was a Fan Flower. Although I had gone there to buy plants for the south bed, I had to have a Fan Flower. I had no idea what I was going to do with it… I took a lot of close-up photos of the flowers and they were all blurry. GEEZ!

Scaevola aemula on 7-1-17, #353-16.

After a month or so, I decided I would put it in the south bed because information online said they like the sun. It was pretty much burned to a crisp within a few days so I moved it to the new shade bed. It continued to go downhill until it was no more. As an experienced gardener, I should have known better than to put a plant in full sun when its preferences are full sun to part shade. That pretty much means somewhere in the middle would be better where summers get hot. Information online says they “thrive” in hot, dry climates, so I just supposed it would be fine in the south bed.

Family: Goodeniaceae.
Origin: Australia.
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30 to 40° F).
Size: 6-18” tall x 12-24” wide.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Well-drained.
Water: Average.



Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ after I brought it home on 5-5-18, #435-17.

I found another Scaevola aemula when plant shopping on May 5, 2018. This time I found one with a label that read “Scaevola ‘Scalora Brilliant’. Most likely that is also what the last one was. I decided I would put it in a larger pot instead of planting it in the ground. Now we shall see how it does.

Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ on 5-17-18, #443-85.

I transferred the Scaevola into a larger pot and kept it on the front porch…

Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora Brilliant’ on 7-30-18, #488-18.

It did well for a while then just kind of went downhill. My cousin’s wife had A LOT of Fan Flowers in a planter behind their house that looked GREAT.

The Fan Flower does well in containers such as hanging baskets which may also be brought inside in the fall for houseplants. Even plants in the ground can be potted up and brought inside. Cuttings can also be taken in the late summer to overwinter inside. You can also purchase Scaevola seed.

Scaevola aemula are shrubby, sprawling, evergreen perennials in the native Australian habitat and other species are scattered out in other parts of the world where they mainly grow as prostrate shrubs.

I will bring a Fan Flower home again someday and give it another shot.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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