Pentas lanceolata

Botanical Name: Pentas lanceolata

Common Name(s): Star flower, star cluster, Egyptian stars



A fast-growing, small to medium-sized herbaceous shrub with light green foliage. Each branch tip bears a bunch of small flowers, often for a long period throughout the warmer months. Pentas comes in a variety of colours, including pink, red, mauve and white. It cannot withstand severe frost but will tolerate a fair amount of drought once established. P. lanceolata ‘Candy Stripe’ bears masses of pink, star-shaped flowers with a white centre; ‘New Look Pink’ has hairy green foliage with small, star-shaped flowers in summer, while ‘New Look Red’ has shiny green foliage with red flowers, also in summer. ‘Red Star’ bears red flowers in spring and autumn.
Most of these plants are evergreen, with hairy ovate to lance-shaped, green foliage. It bears clusters of small flowers in different colours. This plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and make good cut flowers, use for beds, borders, pots and baskets. Plant in fertile and well-drained soil. Remove spent flowers to extend flowering time.

Family: Rubiaceae

Synonym: Pentas carnea

Botanical Pronunciation: PEN-tuss lan-see-oh-LAY-tuh.

Semi Frost Hardy
Non Indigenous
Full Sun
Half Sun
Moderate Watering
Pruning Required


This plant bears clusters of small flowers in all shades of pink, red, purple, mauve and white.

Pentas flower  


Pentas foliage  

Growth Rate



Remove spent flowers to extend flowering time.


 Tropical Africa


Planting Instructions

Planting: Prefers rich, fertile soil. Dig a hole 60cm square and deep. Mix one third of topsoil with one third compost and one third kraal manure in the bottom of the hole, add a cup of bone meal and mix well.

Watering and feeding: Water regularly throughout the active growing season and feed in spring with a general fertiliser for flowering plants. Keep the plant mulched with compost.

Pruning: Cut back in winter to promote new bushy growth. Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage more flowers.

Recommended Varieties

‘Candy Stripe’ has masses of pink, star-shaped flowers with a white centre. ‘New Look Pink’ has hairy green foliage, and small, star-shaped flowers in summer.


0.8 m * 0.8 m

Soil Conditions

Fertile well drained


This plant make good cut flowers.

Uses in landscape design

Pentas looks good in the mixed border in front of dark green shrubs, or as a backdrop for annuals and perennials. Cut flowers last well in the vase.

Use in landscape design for beds, borders, pots and baskets. 

Wildlife Attractions

This plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

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