15 deg C/59 deg F

This attractive plant has a shrubby habit, and reaches 90cm (3ft) in height. The leaves are spear-shaped, about 15cm (6in) long, dark green and corrugated. The flowers arise in clusters and are most attractive, from early in the year until spring. They are a purplish rose-pink colour and over 7.5cm (3in) long. This species likes a shaded position and moderate humidity, and grows particularly well in peat-based composts. with the addition of charcoal granules. The roots should be kept moist at all times, winter included. Potting is best done in autumn. Plants can be divided for propagation.

After flowering it is advisable to prune back the plant quite severely to form a neat shape. To root cuttings and germinate seed a temperature of 21 deg C (70 °I’) is necessary. This species is unsuitable for chilly homes or for where central heating is used without humidi-lication. In chilly places it soon deteriorates. and the leaves may turn yellow and fall. Otherwise, troubles are unusual.

Some other plants often sold as ruellias have been reclassified under Dipteracan-thus and will be found under that entry.

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