Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Mussaendas in Sydney

The mussaenda (Mussaenda philippica) is one plant that I have had a lot of success with. I have the 'Queen Sirikit'. Allegedly deciduous in cooler climates, mine have kept most of their foliage over winter. The blooms are particularly long lasting.

 Mussaendas are native to the Philippines and hence most cultivars are named after prominent first ladies of the archipelago. The exception is Queen Sirikit, which was named in honor of Thai royalty - the first and only of the Mussaendas philippicas to be named after a non-Filipino.

Above is Dona Aurora, a beautiful white version. Below is Dona Luz, a pink variety.

The blooms on 'Queen Sirikit' are the biggest of all the cultivars. The plants are said to be easily propogated, although I haven't tried yet. They are particularly fast growing and have a lovely furry texture to the leaves.


  1. I am so jealous. I don't know why but I've had a hard job getting them established. I've bought plants and they never seem to survive their first Winter. I keep trying because I'm sure once they're established they would do well. Any suggestions????

    1. I grow mine in the ground; it is a mixture of sand and chicken manure. They are in partial sun. I don't give them any special treatment but I keep them very dry over winter. One was very big but Milton broke it in half when he was chasing some bug. I guess the only difference in weather is that here my winter lows never go below 8, and I know Brisbane can get considerably colder. Conversely my winter highs hover around 16 - 17 only. Do you keep them dry in winter? Mine are looking ratty but have most of their leaves still.

  2. When I was a little boy - I sincerely thought that apples came from them.
    I used to play with these flowers and often find that they have a lot of resembles - the colour, the texture and often hope that at least one of the flowers would have a hidden apple inside them.

  3. Mussaendas are commonly planted in pulic places in Malaysia. I personaly like the red bracts as they are not so droopy looking. Recently the alba (white) has a revival of sorts with many landscaper making use of it.

  4. when I weant to Qeensland i was facinated with the pink bushes!


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