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Tropical / Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa)

Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa) Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa) Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa)
Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa) Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa) Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa)
Dhobi tree (Mussaenda frondosa)
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The flowers of this small shrub are orange-yellow, but the large, white sepals are much more striking.

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Family: Rubiaceae
Scientific name: Mussaenda frondosa
Common name: Dhobi tree
Origin: Southeast Asia

The flowers of this small shrub are orange-yellow, but the large, white sepals are much more striking. And that is also noticed by butterflies flying by. They are already attracted to this white leaf at a great distance and only notice closer to the plant that there are small flowers with nectar. Without the white sepals, they would have flown by without stopping, but in this way the plant can still ensure that its flowers are much visited and thus pollinated. 

It is a relatively small shrub (1.5-2 m.) from southeast Asia with graceful leaves that have distinct veins. The leaves are edible and are also used medicinally, which is why plants in Asia are regularly picked.  The species can be kept as a houseplant, but can also be placed outside during the summer months. Make sure you give it a sunny spot and water it regularly.

Sowing description: Sow seeds shallowly in seed and cutting soil. Keep the soil constantly slightly moist and let them germinate at 24-28 °C. 

Sowing period: Whole year
Difficulty: Intermediate
Minimum temperature: 10 degrees Celsius

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