Hypoestes aristata

A small, rounded shrub with spikes of two-lipped pink flowers borne in autumn.
FLOWER COLOUR:  
AVERAGE SIZE (H) x (W): 1.5m x 1m
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

This herbaceous shrub is fast-growing and produces soft, hairy, dark-green leaves.  The ribbon bush bears spikes of tubular mauve, pink or white flowers flowers.  The flowers have two lips which curl back like a miniature florist’s ribbon (hence the common name).  It starts flowering just before winter when most other plants are past their prime.

ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS:
Hypoestes is rich in nectar and attracts many butterfly species. It is the host plant to butterflies and at least one moth species. It also attracts other small insects, providing a source of food for insectivorous birds like robins, thrushes and barbets.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION:
Forest margins.

MAINTENANCE:
Hypoestes is a hardy and trouble-free plant. It may be pruned back if it becomes untidy.

WATER REQUIREMENTS:
Water moderately in summer but less in winter.

GARDEN THEMES:
Bushveld, country, forest, tropical, woodland

LANDSCAPING USES:
Mass plant it under large trees to form an effective groundcover.
FLOWERS:
The flower is dainty, tubular and two-lipped. The colours vary from bright pink, mauve or white but all have darker purple speckles which serve as guides to attract pollinators.
FOLIAGE:
FRUIT:
The fruit is a small, club-shaped capsule that splits open to release the seeds up to 4m from the parent plant.

BUTTERFLY LARVAL HOST:
Junonia hierta (Yellow Pansy)
Junonia natalica (Brown Pansy)
Junonia oenone (Blue Pansy)
Paralethe dendrophilus (Bush Beauty, Forest Beauty)

CULTIVATION:
The plant regularly self seeds. It is also easily propagated by seed and cuttings.

FULL GALLERY:
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