Appearance: Shrubs & herbs
Flowers: Some species have separate male & female flowers (appearing different), others have male and female parts in the one flower.
Requirements: Prefers a rich, moist soil. Prefers a warm, semi shaded position.
Culture: Propagate by semi hardwood cuttings. Feed and water regularly. Prune back in winter.
Pest & Disease: beetle attack at night.
Species & Varieties:
Approximately 34 species, including:
P. Bussei (P. coccinea) (Red Pentas) -An erect or scrambling shrub to 1.2m. Scarlet red flowers.
P. lanceolata (syn P. carnea) (Star Cluster) -A herbaceous shrub to 1.2m. It needs full sun for optimum flowering, but does well in partial shade. Prune back spent flowers. Varieties available with red, white, pinkish and striped (red & white) flowers.
P. mussaendiodes -Shrub 3-5m tall, brownish stems.
P. parviflora -To 0.7m tall, red to orange flowers.
P. zanzibarensis -Open shrub from tropical East Africa, pale purple fragrant flower heads to 4cm diameter.