Genus: Pentas
Family: Rubiaceae
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.

Want to Learn More?


Check out publications in the ACS Bookshop:


For more information on Courses on Horticulture and Plants:


In Australia:


In the UK:


Tropical Plants Course: