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Plantidote of the Day 2012-12-4

twig's picture


Dombeya calantha


I'm pretty sure we've done a dombeya before, but the search box can't seem to find it, so we'll just do it again. These are such beautiful shrubs -- I'm surprised they aren't more popular. Check out this Pink Ball dombeya (Dombeya wallichii), for example. Just imagine an entire 12-foot high tree covered with clusters of these flowers from August through early winter. And they're fragrant!

The less showy version (above) is equally lovely, just more understated. The plants seem pretty easy to grow, according to Sunset's Western Garden book:

Dombeyas need only sun, warmth, reasonably good soil, and ample water....Can be espaliered or trained over arbors to display flowers.

I'm very tempted to try a couple of these plants. Has anyone had any experience with them? Are they as easy as the book suggests? Any details are most welcome.


Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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