Mussaenda is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. They are native to the African and Asian tropics and subtropics. Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants. It contains some 194 species. The cultivar seen here is Mussaenda philippica 'Queen Sirikit' and it is growing in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Queen Sirikit is the Queen of Thailand. It was named to commemorate her first visit to the Philippines in the 1970's.
This Mussaenda is a tropical shrub or sub-shrub that will grow to 3 metres tall in tropical areas, but more likely will reach 1 metre tall in containers. Clusters (corymbs) of small, tubular flowers with five spreading lobes bloom in summer, however it is the large and colourful, ovate, leaf-like sepals (to 10 cm long) that provide the real ornamental display. Some individual flowers in each cluster will develop a single enlarged sepal. Elliptic to ovate, bright green leaves (to 20 cm long). Other hybrids typically feature flowers in red and/or yellow with showy sepals of white, bright red or pink.
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