Quisqualis indica is native to Tropical Asia and New Guinea. It is a vigorous climber which can cover a large support quickly, or it can be grown as an untidy shrub. It produces an abundance of quite fragrant flowers that are white when they open and then, over time, turn through pink to red. It is not fussy about the soil, and can be planted in a heavily shaded area and allowed to climb up into the sun. It is also drought tolerant. Some say that it is able to cope with the sea breeze but this is not the case; the leaves get scorched and eventually fall off, leaving ugly stalks behind. Quisqualis can be invasive, suckers appearing all over the garden, so it must be kept in check and grown where it is wanted and not where it wants to grow.
In 1861 Dr John Ivor Murray (1824-1903), a Scottish surgeon practicing in China, sent a sample of the Quisqualis nuts (seeds) to Edinburgh. They were accompanied with instructions on how the Chinese used them to get rid of worms.