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Botanical Name: Hypoestes aristata
Common Name(s): Ribbon bush
Categories: Shrubs and Perennials
A deciduous shrub with downy, dark green oval-leaves and small flowers with showy bracts in loose spikes, in shades of mauve, white and purple in Autumn to Spring. It grows easily and multiplies rapidly by seeding itself.
Botanical Pronunciation: hy-poh-ES-teez a-ris-TAH-tuh
Semi Frost Hardy
This plant bears small flowers with showy bracts in loose spikes, in shades of mauve, white and purple in Autumn to Spring.
This plant bears hairy, dark green oval foliage.
In some areas the leaves of the Ribbon bush is eaten as spinach. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice for sore eyes.
Water regularly in summer but not in winter. Cut back hard after flowering.
Seeroogblommetjie (Afr.); uhladlwana olukhulu, uhlonyane, uhlalwane (Zulu), uhlololwane(IsiXhosa)
Planting: Plant in canopy shade, light or dappled shade, partial shade. Dig a hole 60cm square and deep. Mix two thirds of the topsoil with one third compost in the bottom of the hole, add one cup of bone meal or superphosphate and mix well.
Watering and feeding: Does not need a lot of attention, but should be watered in dry weather. Feed with a general fertiliser for flowering plants in spring and midsummer, watering in well.
Pruning: Keep trimmed, otherwise it becomes untidy.
‘Purple Haze’ is a compact, smaller shrub with light to dark purple flowers.
1.2-1.8m * 38-45cm
Uses:: Cullinary: | Medicinal: | Cultural: | Commercial: | Cosmetics: | Other Uses: floral arrangements | Part Used: | Attracts: | Features: Uses:: Cullinary: | Medicinal: yes | Cultural: | Commercial: | Cosmetics: | Other Uses: | Part Used: | Attracts: | Features: Uses:: Cullinary: | Medicinal: | Cultural: | Commercial: | Cosmetics: | Other Uses: | Part Used: | Attracts: | Features: Edible foliage
Uses in landscape design
This plant can be used in the landscape as a backdrop to a low, mixed, herbaceous border. A very good shrub for providing colour during winter, in dry, semi-shaded positions. The flowers attract insects which, in turn, are preyed on by birds. In some parts of the country it is traditionally used as a vegetable.