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Species and varieties:
Plectranthus rotundifolius (African Potato Mint)
The big, showy flowers originate from new shoots formed at the base of the pseudobulb. They are pink to purplish, white or yellow, while the fringed, tubular lip is often paler or white, with yellow, red or purple dots and stripes.
They are very closely related to the genus Coelogyne and were once considered part of it.
There are over 300 species of Tibouchina. Tibouchina multiflora has huge leaves(up to 10" in diameter), velvet and "hairy" - nice to touch -they tend to turn orange/red at the lower part of the trunk. Tibouchinas are tropical and subtropical plants. The frost kills the plant to the ground, and it grows back in the spring. They are covered with flowers durning several months, at the end of summer. After each blooming cycle, prune and fertilize with fertilizer for acid loving plants. The Tibouchinas like a good proportion of organic content in the soil.
Blooms all year round with denser blooms from March to November. Plumbago is popular in both tropical and sub-tropical gardens because of its delicate blue flowers; there is also a white-flowering cultivar ('Alba'). It is by nature a woody climbing shrub - with support it can reach several ft in height - but in the tropics it is seen more often as a low plant used for hedges. It tolerates both drought and poor soil and does best at slightly higher altitudes; heavy rainfall tends to beat down the flowers and leaves. Plumbago does best in full sun and grows best if it is heavily pruned from time to time, even cut back to the ground. Propagation is from green cuttings or by division of older plants.
Polygala is an old Greek name from the words polys meaning much and gala meaning milk, the name given to this genus for some of its members which have the reputation for promoting the secretion of milk. The species name myrtifolia means myrtle-like leaves. Polygala myrtifolia varies in form as it changes to adapt to the different areas it grows in, from the harshness of the coast to the drier inland climates. An evergreen shrub, the most common forms reach about 3 to 4 ft in height with a few upright-growing stems and slender branches densely covered with leaves that resemble myrtle. The oval-shaped leaves are usually 1" to 2" long and up to 0.5" wide. The leaves are light green, dark green or slightly grey. The flowers are carried in small clusters at the ends of short branches and look a bit like legume (pea or bean) flowers, but are actually quite different. Close inspection will reveal that although they have two wings and a keel, they lack the banner (also called standard) petal. All polygalas also have a showy, and very distinctive brush-like tuft on the keel. The showy petals, beautifully marked with darker veins, are usually in shades of mauve or purple, but can also be pink scarlet, or white. Polygala myrtifolia has blooms throughout the year with a peak in spring when the plants flower profusely. The fruit is a small, winged capsule. In the new garden it is excellent as a fast growing windbreak, hedge and colorful shrub able to grow in most soil types from full sun to semi-shade. Its growth is a bit more lax, producing fewer flowers in the shade, but it grows happily in the difficult pockets that change from full sun to semi-shade with the seasons. Polygala myrtifolia can easily be propagated from seed and tip cuttings preferably taken in spring and autumn.
Polygala × dalmaisiana is the result of crossing P. myrtifolia with P. fruticosa.
Pickerelweed typically grows to about 2 to 3 Ft tall. Pickerelweed is an aquatic or marsh perennial with a cluster of erect arrowhead-shaped leaves arising from a single basal clump. Its leaves are large, up to 5
Annual or perennial. Vegetative stem elongate, floating or on mudflats; flowering stem to 26 cm long, the lower internode procumbent or erect. Sessile leaves not seen; petiolate leaves floating or emersed, reniform to cordate. The flowers are pink, or light blue, with a yellow spot in one petal.
Porphyrocoma pohliana is a tropical evergreen plant that is a prolific bloomer in the tropics. This plant is adaptable, beautiful and flowers all year round in low light. Great as a container and indoor plant. Rose-colored cones emerge on the growing tips and expand until brilliant purple flowers appear among the colorful bracts. The dark green leaves are accented by silver highlights. It should be grown in a fertile, well draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. Like many shrubs, it is necessary to prune Porphyrocoma pohliana regularly to ensure that it retains a compact growth habit. Outdoors, this plant can be grown in the shade, but not in full or direct sunlight. Strong sunshine can bleach the leaves.
The well-known and much loved genus of perennials consist of around 400 species. Primulas like fertile, well-drained soil, part-shade and ample water.
Plants in this group were formerly called Chirita and have recently been reclassified as Primulina. Many have attractive variegated leaves.