TROPICAL PLANT ENCYCLOPEDIA


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Acanthus ilicifolius, Holly-leaved Acanthus, Sea Holly, Holy Mangrove

Acanthus ilicifolius

Holly-leaved Acanthus, Sea Holly, Holy Mangrove
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: India, Polynesia
USDA Zone: 8-10?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunSemi-shadeBog or aquaticKeep soil moistRegular waterBlue, lavender, purple flowersEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
Ethnomedical statements / products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We urge all customers to consult a physician before using any supplements, herbals or medicines advertised here or elsewhere.Thorny or spinyFlood tolerantSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Acanthus ilicifolius, or Holly-leaved Acanthus, is a perennial plant native to India and Polynesia. This plant can reach a large size, typically growing up to 5-10 ft tall. It has a semi-woody and sprawling structure, with thin stems coated in a glossy green hue speckled with white. The leaves are oval-shaped with a pair of spines at each angle.

Holly-leaved Acanthus prefers full sun to semi-shade and can be grown either in a bog or aquatic environment. It requires plenty of moisture as well as regular watering to stay healthy and vibrant. This plant also tolerates flooding and salty conditions near the seaside very well. Therefore, it can be a great addition to any garden in the USDA hardiness zone of 8-11.

The Holly-leaved Acanthus is adorned with clusters of beautiful blue, lavender and purple flowers. It is also an ethnomedical plant, hence its use in traditional medicine. Its stems are thorny or spiny and may require careful handling when handling.

When growing Holly-leaved Acanthus in a pot, it is essential to keep the soil moist and use quality organic potting soil. A location with some protection from the elements is preferred in colder regions as well as a winter mulching of thick straw to prevent frost damage. Additionally, it is important to keep an eye out for any pests and diseases that may occur and act appropriately to keep the plant healthy.





Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/acanthus_ilicifolius.htm

Acanthus sp., Acanthus, Bear 's Breeches
Acanthus montanus

Acanthus sp.

Acanthus, Bear 's Breeches
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Mediterranean Basin, Asia
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunShadeSemi-shadeRegular waterModerate waterOrnamental foliageDeciduous plantThorny or spinySubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Acanthus montanus, also known as African mountain acanthus, False Thistle, Bear's breech, Mountain Thistle, and Alligator Plant, is a thinly branched unusual perennial with interesting foliage, basal clusters of oblong to lance-shaped glossy, dark green leaves reaching up to 12 inches long. The leaves have silver marks and wavy margins. It produces showy pink flowers in the summer to fall. It is said it is cold hardy to zone 9. The plant looks better in filtered light.

Several species, especially A. balcanicus, A. spinosus and A. mollis, are grown as ornamental plants.





Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/acanthus_sp.htm

Acanthus montanus - Alligator Plant

Acanthus montanus, also known as African mountain acanthus, False Thistle, Bear's breech, Mountain Thistle, and Alligator Plant, is a thinly branched unusual perennial with interesting foliage, basal clusters of oblong to lance-shaped glossy, dark green leaves reaching up to 12 inches long. The leaves have silver marks and wavy margins. It produces showy pink flowers in the summer to fall. It is said it is cold hardy to zone 9. The plant looks better in filtered light.
See picture of alligator skin.

RECOMMENDED FERTILIZER:
SUNSHINE Megaflor - Bloom Nutrition Booster
This item is certified for shipping to California.
Grown in
6"/1 gal pot
1 plant in stock
Last one
$37.95


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii, Anisacanthus wrightii, Hummingbird Bush, Flame Acanthus, Wright Anisacanthus

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii, Anisacanthus wrightii

Hummingbird Bush, Flame Acanthus, Wright Anisacanthus
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Mexico
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunModerate waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

This attractive, upright deciduous shrub grows 2'-5' tall, with many branched stems bearing opposite, lance-shaped to ovate, green leaves that are softly hairy beneath. The bright, orange-red to red-violet flowers, up to 1 1/4" across, are freely produced in summer and fall. Flowers of Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii are tubular, with 4 narrow, curving petals, borne in tight clusters at the ends of the branches. They are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. During the winter, the bush becomes dormant and loses its leaves.

Flame acanthus prefers full sun, with fertile soil that is moderately moist. It may need protection in colder climates and in USDA Zones 9-11, some protection may be necessary to keep the mature plant cold-hardy to at least the upper 20s F for a short time. Grow it in pots and then in winter take the pots inside during freezing temperatures.

Pruning should be done in the early spring, before growth begins and can be done in two stages: A light pruning to thin for light and air penetration and to remove any dead or damaged branches, and then a second pruning can be done to shape the plant. Cuts should be above a leaf node, and don't prune more than one-third of the plant at a time. If you want to keep the plant smaller, prune off the tips of the top and sides of the bush. This will encourage branching and more compact growth.

To discourage disease and pests, it's important to keep the hummingbird bush pruned and tidy and to mulch around the base to keep the temperature steady and consistent. A monthly light application of a balanced fertilizer is also recommended, but not essential. Flame acanthus is a great choice for entryways, small gardens, or containers, providing a long-lasting source of beautiful color and natural beauty.



Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii, Anisacanthus wrightii, Hummingbird Bush, Flame Acanthus, Wright Anisacanthus
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii, Anisacanthus wrightii, Hummingbird Bush, Flame Acanthus, Wright Anisacanthus


Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/anisacanthus_quadrifidus.htm

Aphelandra aurantiaca, Fiery Spike

Aphelandra aurantiaca

Fiery Spike
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Central and South America
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftShadeSemi-shadeRegular waterOrnamental foliageRed, crimson, vinous flowersYellow, orange flowers

Aphelandra aurantiaca, Fiery Spike


Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_aurantiaca.htm

Aphelandra goodspeedii, Aphelandra

Aphelandra goodspeedii

Aphelandra
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Central America
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeRegular waterOrnamental foliageYellow, orange flowers

Aphelandra goodspeedii, Aphelandra
Aphelandra goodspeedii, Aphelandra


Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_goodspeedii.htm

Aphelandra hartwegiana, Yellow Aphelandra

Aphelandra hartwegiana

Yellow Aphelandra
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Panama and Colombia
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunShadeSemi-shadeRegular waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersYellow, orange flowersSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Yellow flowers emerge out of long orange stalks in the fall time. Pretty and unusual! A tall, shrubby perennial with very long (over 15″) terminal inflorescences that are very unique and showy, with yellow flowers protruding from orange calyces in succession over many days. The leaves can get at least 14″ long, and in bright light the midvein and petiole can take on a reddish hue. Grows nicely in full sun in south Florida, but it will also tolerate quite shady conditions. It can get leggy and is best pruned regularly to help maintain a branching, dense form - give it a good trim around July. It is otherwise a very easy, undemanding and rewarding plant.





Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_hartwegiana.htm

Aphelandra hartwegiana - Yellow Aphelandra

Yellow Aphelandra. Yellow flowers emerge out of long orange stalks in the fall time. Pretty and unusual! A tall, shrubby perennial with very long terminal inflorescences that are very unique and showy, with yellow flowers protruding from orange calyces in succession over many days. Grows nicely in full sun in south Florida, but it will also tolerate quite shady conditions.

RECOMMENDED FERTILIZER:
SUNSHINE Megaflor - Bloom Nutrition Booster
This item is certified for shipping to California.
Grown in
6-10"/1-3 gal pot
9 plants in stock
$27.95


Aphelandra scabra, Aphelandra panamensis, Aphelandra

Aphelandra scabra, Aphelandra panamensis

Aphelandra
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Southern Mexico to Northern South America
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunShadeSemi-shadeRegular waterPink flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Aphelandra scabra is a shrub species that ranges from Southern Mexico to Northern South America and the West Indies. It is found mainly in seasonally dry forests along the Northern Pacific slope but it can also be found in some moist to wet forests. A. scabra is normally around 5 ft tall but it can grow taller. The leaves are simple, oppositely arranged on the stalk, and they are elliptical and entire with smooth or wavy margins.

The flowers of this plant can be red, pink, or purple red, up to 2 inch long, and tubular. They are 2-lipped, fuzzy and they bloom for one day before wilting. The A. scabra inflorescence is candle-like and the prepubescent flower spikes can grow up to 6 inch in height. The inflorescence has overlapping green bracts that are tinged with yellow and orange and they have extrafloral nectaries. Each day only one or two flowers open along the inflorescence to prevent self-pollination. The flowers have four fertile stamens and a slender stigma that is tucked into the upper lip of the flower. The flowers are hummingbird pollinated and the species protects its nectar behind a petal lip. When a visiting hummingbird arrives to feed on the nectar, the petal lip releases pollen down onto the head of the bird and it is carried away to pollinate another plant. The seed capsules are club-shaped,1 inch long capsules, and they contain four dark brown seeds. The seeds are flattened and irregular and they are dispersed ballistically, meaning they "explode". The fruit seed capsule splits along the sutures, which allow the fruit wall to change its shape rapidly and throw the seeds short distances.





Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_scabra.htm

Aphelandra scabra (panamensis) - Pink Candy

Aphelandra scabra (panamensis). This is a new introduction, quite unique flowering plant from S America. Like all aphelandras, it has showy flowers that are loved by hummingbirds. The flowers of this variety are bright pink, up to 2 inch long, and tubular. They are 2-lipped, fuzzy and they bloom for one day before wilting. The A. scabra inflorescence is candle-like and the prepubescent flower spikes can grow up to 6 inch in height. The inflorescence has overlapping green bracts that are tinged with yellow and orange and they have extrafloral nectaries. Each day only one or two flowers open along the inflorescence to prevent self-pollination.
It is a great addition to a collectible tropical butterfly garden. Can grow into 4-5" tall bushy specimen. Blooms sporadically during warm season. Tolerates both full sun or filtered light.

RECOMMENDED FERTILIZER:
SUNSHINE Megaflor - Bloom Nutrition Booster
This item is certified for shipping to California.
Grown in
10"/3 gal pot
In stock
$27.95


Aphelandra schiedeana, Aphelandra melgariensis, Aphelandra

Aphelandra schiedeana, Aphelandra melgariensis

Aphelandra
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Central America
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeRegular waterModerate waterRed, crimson, vinous flowers

Aphelandra schiedeana, Aphelandra melgariensis, Aphelandra
Aphelandra schiedeana, Aphelandra melgariensis, Aphelandra
Aphelandra schiedeana, Aphelandra melgariensis, Aphelandra


Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_schiedeana.htm

Aphelandra sinclairiana, Orange Shrimp plant, Coral Aphelandra, Panama Queen

Aphelandra sinclairiana

Orange Shrimp plant, Coral Aphelandra, Panama Queen
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSemi-shadeRegular waterPink flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersYellow, orange flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Aphelandra sinclairiana is a large shrub, usually growing between 5 and 10 feet tall. It is native to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, and can be grown outdoors in USDA Zone 9-11. It prefers semi-shade, and comparatively regular waterings, making sure that the soil remains slightly moist while not waterlogged. The plant sports quite a showy display of flowers, though they are quite small. The bracts are orange-red color, almost 2 inches in length, and the tubular flowers themselves range from pink to red to crimson and vinous. It also attracts a lot of pollinators, notably butterflies and hummingbirds.

In terms of care, the shrub is quite hardy in mature state and will tolerate short-term low temperatures of 30s F or lower. However, if grown in a pot, the cold-hardy properties are reduced. It is important to make sure Aphelandra sinclairiana is provided with a location that is out of strong wind and direct frost, and the plant should be brought indoors in temperature below 40-45 F. To ensure the best growth of the plant, make sure the soil used is well-drained, with the pot placed in a bright area with at least several hours of protection from the direct sunlight in a day. During growing season, water the soil regularly, but be sure to avoid over-watering. Finally, be sure to feed the shrub occasionally with a balanced fertilizer to ensure all important nutrients are available.





Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_sinclairiana.htm

Aphelandra sinclairiana - Panama Queen

Panama Queen - a very rare plant with extremely tropical look, fragrant flowers of unusual color combination: orange and pink.

RECOMMENDED FERTILIZER:
SUNSHINE Megaflor - Bloom Nutrition Booster
This item is certified for shipping to California.
Grown in
10"/3 gal pot
 


Aphelandra sp., Shrimp Plant, Coral Aphelandra

Aphelandra sp.

Shrimp Plant, Coral Aphelandra
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Panama
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeRegular waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirds

This is a rare hybrid possibly with A. scabra (panamensis) that has bright red flowers, quite unique flowering plant from S America. Like all aphelandras, it has showy flowers that are loved by hummingbirds. The flower up to 2 inch long, tubular. They are 2-lipped, fuzzy and they bloom for one day before wilting. Inflorescence is candle-like and the prepubescent flower spikes can grow up to 6 inch in height. The inflorescence has overlapping green bracts that are tinged with yellow and orange and they have extrafloral nectaries. Each day only one or two flowers open along the inflorescence to prevent self-pollination.

It is a great addition to a collectible tropical butterfly garden. Can grow into 4-5" tall bushy specimen. Blooms sporadically during warm season. Tolerates both full sun or filtered light.



Aphelandra sp., Shrimp Plant, Coral Aphelandra
Aphelandra sp., Shrimp Plant, Coral Aphelandra
Aphelandra sp., Shrimp Plant, Coral Aphelandra


Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/aphelandra_sp.htm
 
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