Asystasia bella

A magnificent forest shrub bearing masses of white bell-shaped flowers.
FLOWER COLOUR:  
AVERAGE SIZE (H) x (W): 3m x 2m
FLOWERING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D

Mackaya bella is an attractive, semi-hardy, evergreen shrub which thrives in deep shade conditions. The glossy dark-green leaves have a prominent midrib and veins on the lower surface. The margins are wavy and widely toothed.. Masses of white or light lavender flowers with prominent burgundy veins are borne from spring to mid-summer.

ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS:
Mackaya bella is a larval host plant to the Blue Pansy butterfly.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION:
Forest understorey.

MAINTENANCE:
Mackaya is low maintenance and will grow to a neat shrub up to 4 metres tall.
Prune back after flowering to encourage dense growth and a non-woody plant.

WATER REQUIREMENTS:
Water moderately throughout the year.

GARDEN THEMES:
Forest, formal, rockery, tropical, woodland

LANDSCAPING USES:
A superb shrub for an informal hedge in a shady area. Ideal for small gardens.
It may also be grown in a large pot in a shady courtyard.
Ideal companion plants are Clivia miniata, Asparagus densiflorus and Plectranthus verticillatus.
FLOWERS:
White or lavender, bell-shaped flowers, each comprising a tube ending in 5 spreading lobes and streaked with purple veins.
FOLIAGE:
The glossy dark-green leaves have a prominent midrib and veins on the lower surface.
FRUIT:
The fruit is a green, club-shaped capsule that matures to brown then explodes into two to eject the seeds.

SEED:
WILDLIFE GALLERY:
BUTTERFLY LARVAL HOST:
Junonia oenone (Blue Pansy)
CULTIVATION:
Mackaya bella is easily propogated by semi-hardwood cuttings taken in autumn or spring or from seeds sown in spring. It performs best in heavily composted, well-drained granitic soil and needs regular watering in summer for the first year until well established. Feed with a slow-release 3:1:5 fertilizer every two months in summer. The plant responds well to a light pruning after flowering to encourage bushy new growth and to maintain a compact shape.

FULL GALLERY:

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