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Portlandia platantha, Portlandia latifolia, Dwarf Bell Flower, White horse flower, Tree Lily

Portlandia platantha, Portlandia latifolia

Dwarf Bell Flower, White horse flower, Tree Lily
Family: Rubiaceae
Origin: Jamaica
Large shrub 5-10 ftSmall shrub 2-5 ftFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterWhite/off-white flowersFragrantAttracts butterflies, hummingbirds

This very rare variety of Portlandia has a drarf growth habit. It is slow growing and stays inder 3-4 ft in a pot and 5-6 in the ground. The flowers are 4-5" long, white tinged with pink and trumpet-shaped. The air is filled with their luscious perfume, reminiscent of warm, creamy chocolate. The plant is named after a former Duchess of Portland, originally discovered in the island some centuries ago but had been in decline until Jamaicas National Arboretum Foundation at Hope Gardens began propagating them a few years ago. A slow growing small tree that produces white, trumpet, fragrant flowers. This plant has elliptic, leathery leaves and blooms from late Spring into Fall. It is most fragrant in the evening and early morning, but can be appreciated most any time. Dark green, lush foliage contrasts beautifully with the white flowers. Initially the shrub grows on a tall single stem so it has the look of a standard or lollipop. Gradually, with age, it fills out and becomes more shrub-like. Given its native habitat, portlandia does well in alkaline soils. It is cold sensitive, and should be planted with protection from winter winds. Cold may cause leaves to drop and severe cold may knock it back to the ground, but it will spring back. While it can be grown in a container, it flowers much of the year if it is in the ground.

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