Sunday, August 7, 2011

Egyptian Star Flower


Pentas lanceolata
Also called Pentas carnea. A rounded, small, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 7 x 5 ( rarely over 6 x 4 ) feet, that is native from Africa to tropical parts of the Arabian Peninsula. In cooler climates it can be grown as an annual for summer bedding and containers.
The oval leaves, up to 6 x 2 inches, are velvety and bright to deep green.
The tiny, starry flowers are borne on large, flat clusters up to 6 inches acrosss, from summer into fall. The flowers can be either white, pink, red, lilac or lavender-blue.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating 18 F ) as a perennial or shrub ( reported to survive in zone 7 & 8 as a perennial if deeply mulched, zones 5 to 8 as an annual ). The Egyptian Star Flower thrives in full sun to partial shade on moist, fertile, humus-rich, acidic soil. Very tolerant of heat and also tolerant of salt. It does not enjoy drought.
Propagation is from softwood cuttings taken during summer or seed sown during spring.

* photos taken on July 13 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 12 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 11 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst. Wash, DC

* photos taken on Aug 31 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 6 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

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