What is this plant? Attractive foliage...

brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)July 7, 2007

Hi, can anyone I.D. this plant? I am guessing it is tropical and I will need to take it inside for the winter. The foliage is very attractive and distinctive but no flowers yet. The nursery got a bunch of them in a shipment and was selling them but did not know what they were. (I have never posted any pics here before, so I hope this works.) Thanks, Brandy

http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x261/brandyray721/

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greenclaws UKzone8a

Brandy, Hi! Wonder if this is what you have? Got mine in wall pots, spreads out in large trailing fan shape each year and gets covered in flowers...eventually! Had this ID'd on the GW Name this plant forum, (was given a cutting and neither of us had no idea what it was), they told me it's called Spanish Shawl/Heterocentron Elegans...any good??
Gill.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 9:18AM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

Greenclaws, I think you've got it! I have not seen any flowers yet but I was told it flowered. (I would rather have purple or blue or yellow flowers than pink though.) Even the owner at the nursery said they would love to know what it is. Where can I find out more about it? Is it tropical? I don't know what your temps are like there, but here it is in the 90's most of the summer, winter it gets down around 20 usually a few times, but rarely any snow, and temps are more like 40's and 50's through the winter. Thanks, Brandy

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 12:54PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Brandy, think it's classed as a tender perennial here in the UK. I wouldn't risk leaving it out for our winters so it lives in the greenhouse for the coldest part of the year. We keep that heated to keep it frost free. Last year it remained in leaf all year, I just shortened the branches by half so it didnt take up too much space. Noticed some of the stems had touched the soil and were rooted when I came to re-pot it this spring, so I potted them together in another wall-pots of their own.
Our temps where we live occasionally get up to 80, but not often and we also get frosts and snow. Where's 'coastal NC' btw??
Glad to help.
Gill.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 3:28PM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

Gill: the muggy, hot and humid coast of North Carolina, USA. Quite a distance from you. Living in England, you probably hear this a lot from us North Americans, but James Herriot was one of my favorite writers. I read the bio his son wrote on him, too. Are you English? Do you live in the country or in town? It's very rural where I live. Brandy

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:01PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi there, yep I'm English through and through!...as are the vast majority of folks in our area. Live in small village, one pub, no school or shop, 100 houses or so in North Staffordshire area called Staffordshire Moorlands, 4 miles over fields and down dale from Alton Towers. You can see some of the area around us in this pic taken in our old greenhouse last summer...

and in this one too....

I enjoy the challenge of trying to grow 'tropical' stuff and the current g/house is stuffed full at present!
Cheers!.
Gill.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:57AM
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bearstate(9A)

I had heard that parts of England have fairly temperate weather due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, so am not surprised that folks there can grow tropicals.

But check out the palms and cycad forum where a person in Chicago has palms and other tropicals growing outdoors in the back yard ...

I am amazed ...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:04AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

The photo of the plant in England looks more like Centradenia grandifolia than Heterocentron. It is a larger growing plant to 3 foot tall by 5 foot across if not frozen back in winter, and is more subtropical cloudforest than lowland tropical, and comes from southern Mexico into central America. It tends to bloom best in mild summer climates, or spring and fall in hot summer areas, and can bloom nearly 8 months out of the year here along the coast of California, where there are some at Strybing/San Francisco Botanic Garden that are 5 foot tall by 8 foot across. The foliage and stems also color up better in cooler weather, when the plant takes on a reddish cast all over.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:49PM
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longwoodgradms

I'll add a vote to it also being Centradenia grandifolia as BAHIA points out.

The leaves on Heterocentron spp. are much smaller, aren't hairy-serrated or "fuzzy" and don't redden in the manner shown.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 3:19PM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

Bahia and Longwood, did you look at the pic of my plant on Photobucket? It has the same characteristics as greenclaws plant, the best I can tell. I would prefer it had yellow flowers, or red, or purple or blue, or any color but pink! I bought 3 of them and gave two to neighbors. One of them thinks she saw the same type of plant last summer w/ salmon-colored flowers. Is there a site to look up the two plants?
Greenclaws, your tropical plants and the green, green background are striking! I didn't know there was so much open ground in England- thought most of it was towns and cities. Thanks for sharing the pics. Brandy

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 6:39PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi, me again, I totally agree with you on the new ID!!!...let me explain?
Was given ID of Spanish Shawl/Centradenia Grandifolia on GW forum but couldnt access my old post to check it for some reason. I remembered the S. Shawl bit but not the C.G. part, so googled S. Shawl and was given Heterocentron Elegans with no mention of C.G whatsoever. It didnt ring a bell, and I wrongly assumed it was correct. When you gave the ID of C.Grandifolia I recognised it immediately as the Latin name I was given originally....sorry to confuse you!! but it just goes to show us how important these Latin names really are as several differing species can be known under the same common name.
Brandy, the UK most definately has large urban areas of cities and the like, but conversley, there are miles and miles of open countryside with forests, pasture, dales, heath and moorlands like the area in which I live. The only thing we are short on is a desert I think! The site 'Google Earth' will give you a good aerial view of what its like over here.
Regards and thanks for correcting me!
Gill.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 9:50AM
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birdsnblooms

Gill, your land is really beautiful..plants are excellent..that Plumeria is a show-stopper. Looks like a serene area to live in..wanna trade? LOL..Toni

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 4:15PM
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longwoodgradms

Brandy, I think the plant you may be more in love with is Lysimachia. I can't remember a common name, but it is also a sprawling plant, perfect fo ra container or hanger, with limey-fuzzy leaves and little yellow bell-rippled flowers.

The plant you have is definitely in the Tibouchina family, and as such, the flowers are typically always purple or pink (rarely white).

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 11:11PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I'd suggest you simply do a google search and look at images for the two Melastome species. I always considered the flower color of both to be more towards the magenta color range than pink. I know of no melastomacea plant similar to these two that would have salmon colored flowers. You might also try growing some of the hebaceous Melastomes from Asia and South Africa that would be hardy in the Carolinas. These would include Rhexia and Osbeckia and some of the Melastoma. The winter deciduous ones only do well here in northern California if you give them lots of water, and don't perform well here in cool coastal conditions as do the more cloudforest species. Therefore I don't grow any of them, but they do have flowers that are more purplish than pink, and would love your summer heat.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 11:42PM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

I think it is the Centradenia Grandifolia, so I appreciate having a name for it!
Greenclaws- It's not a desert here, fortunately, but there is a lot of sand! I'm just over an hour from any beaches, but I've got plenty of sand! And lots of tall pine trees.
Longwood- there are several plants called lysimachia in my catalog (Bluestone perennials) but none of them fits that description.
Bahia- thanks for the suggestions.
Now, can someone suggest a company to order such plants from? Thank you! Brandy

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 7:57AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Google search the plant name and nurseries in combination...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 1:03AM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

Thank you, Bahia. That brought up one of my favorite nurseries, Plant Delights in Raleigh, NC. They have quite a few exotic plants, good service too. I have enjoyed a couple of their open houses. Brandy

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:57PM
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longwoodgradms

Brandy, the plant I mentioned is often called Golden Globe (among other things). It's botanical name is Lysimachia procumbens and it's hardy zones 6-9. We can only marginally grow it year round in south Florida as our summer heat makes it melt.

It is back in the big box stores here in nice hanging baskets again.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 1:39PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I forget to list Dissotis, another Melastome that is winter deciduous and loves hot wet summers. This species may actually be available in general nurseries back east. It needs more heat and water than I can give it to bloom well here, and after all, Heterocentrons, Centradenias, Monochaetums, etc thrive in our cool foggy summers if watered.

The Lysimachia I am most familiar with is L. nummularia, which grows like a thick weed if well watered, and does have forms with great chartreuse foliage.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 12:57PM
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