Plant of the month: January
Mediterranean / Subtropical House
A native of South East Asia and the East Indies this butterfly bush is one of the largest. It is a moderately succulent, large, arching shrub which can reach 12 feet or more and has widely spaced leaves that often curl or hang down. The blooms are dense, often drooping, spikes of tiny white flowers with a sweet freesia-like fragrance in late winter and early spring. When it blooms, it often looks like it is all flowers and no leaves at all, but when the flowers are finished new bright green leaves with felty white undersides will grow. It is fairly tender and needs a mild location with protection from severe frost, it is best grown in a cool conservatory or greenhouse. A plant that demands your attention, you have to touch it as well as enjoying that powerful sweet scent.