Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, Senegal tea

Gymnocoronis spilanthoides

Senegal tea
Family: Asteraceae
Origin: South America
USDA Zone: 8-10?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunBog or aquatic plantWhite, off-white flowersInvasive plantSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, also known as Senegal tea, is a small shrub native to wet marshy soils and still or very slowly flowing waters of South America. It is probably the only asteraceae species suitable for aquariums and can help to feed on suspended nutrients in the water to prevent algae growth. The shrub typically grows to a height of 2-5 ft and has dark green, spearhead-shaped, serrated leaves which are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem. In spring and summer, the small shrub produces numerous white or off-white, ball-shaped flowers with a diameter of 15-20mm at the tips of the stems. It is important to note, however, that Gymnocoronis spilanthoides is considered to be invasive in certain climates and should be planted with caution.

In regards to growing requirements, Gymnocoronis spilanthoides does best in full sun or semi-shade in humid climates and will thrive in areas with wet bog or aquatic soil. It will do quite well in a pot in cold climates. For those looking to grow it in USDA Zones 8-10, the Gymnocoronis spilanthoides should be planted in a location with full sun or light shade to reach optimal growth and flowering. Regular watering and fertilization with a balanced plant food every six weeks is recommended to keep the shrub healthy and blooming throughout the year. To prevent the plant from becoming invasive, it is important to regularly remove any seed heads that may form, as they may spread and become problematic in certain climates.

Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, Senegal tea
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, Senegal tea

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