Promoting and teaching Florida-Friendly landscaping to create more sustainable and beautiful yards in Miami. Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program of the University of Florida/IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension Service.
The plant of the month for March is a shrub native to Southern Mexico and Central America. Ruch Pentas aka Panama Rose (Arachnothryx leucophylla) thrives on local limestone based soils ans is non-invasive. This shrub grows to about 10 feet in our environment. It is an airy somewhat willowy shrub with linear lanceolate, grayish green leaves with a silvery underside. Tight clusters of rosy pink flowers are produced continuously from December into early June. AS flowering ceases the shrub can be pruned as required. Four to five shrubs planted 3 to 4 feet apart make a very attractive medium density flowering screen. Plants can readily be propagated from air layers or more readily using semi -hardened cuttings. No pests or diseases of note have been reported. This plant is tolerant of near freezing temperatures, bu tsome discoloration (reddening) of foliage has been observed.