large shrub 5-10 ft, full sun, moderate water, regular water,
white/off-white flowers, red/crimson/vinous flowers, attracts
An example of a Rubiaceae with enlarged, unequal, colored calyx
lobes, long-styled flowers.
otanical Name: Carphalea kirondron
Common Name: Flaming Beauty
Family name: Rubiaceae
Plant type: Indoor ornamental shrub of medium height (1.5 – 3
meters), originated from Madagascar. Mainly, a tropical bush!
Light: Prefers full sun, but can tolerate semi-shade
Moisture: Requires regular watering moderately
Soil: Grows best in consistently moist soil, preferably
compost-enriched! This Flaming Beauty can be grown in containers or
Propagation: From seeds or stem cuttings. It may be difficult to
propagate from seed germination, but not the latter method.
Just cut 2 or more (to counteract failure) 5-6 inches length of stem
cuttings (preferably when you need to deadhead and can spare a
stem), trim of its leaves leaving a couple of them, then push into
garden potting mix about an inch and a half deep, locate in shaded
area and with regular watering, voila…you’ll definitely succeed with
at least one, two or probably all from the many cuttings planted!
Features: A medium height tropical shrub of up 3 m (or more if
allowed to grow without restraint), that is gaining popularity in
the tropics! It is a very showy evergreen bush with lanceolate to
ovate-lanceolate rich-green leaves that are mostly opposite with 2cm
long petioles. Covering the bush are large bunches (10-20cm across)
of strikingly bright red calyx lobes. These calyxes are enlarged and
unequal (1 is more enlarged than the others) and amongst them many
tiny 4-petaled white flowers appear on filament-like reddish corolla
tubes (1.5-2.5 cm long). The species is heterodistylous in
long-styled and short-styled forms. Anyway, this whole plant is
characterized by the presence of those remarkable red colored
calyces, and the white flowers are actually insignificantly seen
Usage: Being non-stop bloomers, it’ll be most suitable as a
centerpiece in the patio, courtyard or garden. Whether as a potted
plant or in ground, it’ll present a glorious sight at parks and
entrances to shopping malls and hotels, provided it’s placed at
Flaming Beauty (Carphalea kirondron) in red definitely outshines
other plants at our frontyard garden. Shot Oct 2006 Carphalea
kirondron, planted along road dividers
I have even seen these ornamental shrubs with their gorgeous bright
red calyxes being mass-planted along highways, roadsides and road
dividers. Go for this plant if you love brilliant red colors and
want to attract butterflies to your garden! A wonderful plant that
flowers all year round in the tropics.
Care: This is another of those fuss-free plants that are easily
maintained. Just the normal regular watering and fertilizing!
However, pruning is necessary to promote bushiness and more blooms.
Also, deadheading is advisable to remove the unattractive sight of
withered calyxes, though this task is infrequent as the blooms
remain beautiful for months! Watch out for white flies that are very
attracted to it! Aaargh…they’re nasty and can destroy the whole
plant if you drop your guard!