Thursday, April 18, 2013

Suessenguthia multisetosa

Suessenguthia multisetosa is a large, somewhat sprawling shrub that blooms throughout the winter and early spring.
The large leaves (up to 18 inches long) lend a tropical look to the landscape when the plant is not in bloom.
New growth is bronze-colored, especially on plants grown in full sun.
When the days shorten in fall, clusters of large hairy buds form at the tip of each stem.
Several lavender-pink flowers at a time open from each cluster throughout the flowering months. Individual flowers are tubular and 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.
Young stems are flexible and often tend toward a pendant habit, but the main stems at the base of the plant thicken into sturdy trunks with age, often reaching 4 inches in diameter. A persistent leaf scar completely encircles the trunk.
The plant grows to around 10-12 feet tall if un-pruned, but can be maintained at a shorter height with periodic pruning. Just be sure not to trim off any growth in late summer or fall if you want winter blossoms.
This plant is about 8 feet tall.
Suessenguthia is native to Bolivia and is recommended for USDA Zones 9B-11. It grows well in full sun or half shade. In hot, tropical climates afternoon shade will help prevent the large leaves from wilting in the heat.