Malvaviscus, is native to the subtropical areas of southern Texas and Florida, and can easily be mistaken for a Hibiscus. The petals of Malvaviscus remain closed, whereas the Hibiscus flower opens wide displaying all the colours. Malvaviscus is easy to grow, in the open ground or in pots. Mealybug can be a serious problem.
Malvaviscus arboreus has a bright red and most attractive flower.
Malvaviscus paquito is a dull pink. Updated 13/9/2018
Mansoa hymenaea, native to Mexico and South America; the leaves give off a strong garlic smell when crushed, the flowers also give off the same smell. It is a large climber, which likes to reach high up through trees to the sunlight. The flowers open a pale lavender colour, and fade to white. It flowers on new growth, and so should be pruned immediately after flowering. Propagation is by cuttings or layering.
The plant possesses medicinal properties. Updated 13/9/2018
Maranta, the Prayer Plant, was named after Bartolomeo Maranta (1500-1571), an Italian physician and botanist. It is native to Central and South America, and the West Indies.
There are about 45 species and is easily confused with Calathea species. Marantas have rhizomes, they are low growing with decorative leaves. They like a rich loamy soil, which must not dry out altogether, the plant dies if let grow in wet soil. Grow them in dappled shade, with early morning or evening sun. Propagation is by division when re-potting. Updated 13/9/2018
Moringa oleifera is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas, in northwestern India, and has spread far and wide. It is a fast growing, drought-resisting, tree that will flower within six months of sowing the seeds. It is widely cultivated mainly for the leaves, which are eaten as a vegetable, providing vitamin A, C, calcium, and potassium. The flowers and seeds can also be eaten and it produces an oil used in the cosmetic industry. Updated 23/12/16
Murraya paniculata is an ever-green tree with luscious dark green leaves, that is drought resistant and tolerant of poor soil conditions. It grows easily and is not attacked by any of the usual garden pests. After rain, the tree is covered with white flowers, which fill the air with the sweet smell of orange blossom, this will attract bees, and butterflies to the garden. It grows best in bright dappled shade, with some direct sun during the day. It can be grown as a hedge and kept well trimmed, slightly resembling a box hedge, unfortunately, then there are fewer flowers. Murraya paniculata propagates easily from seed. This is a must for any garden at the coast.
Up dated 13/9/2018
Musa sumatrana, known as the Blood Banana, is native to Sumatra and Indonesia. It grows equally well in a large pot or in open ground, giving height to the garden and a real ‘jungle effect’. It is not fussy about the soil, but like all bananas the better the soil and more plentiful the water makes for a better specimen. Musa sumatrana needs protection from hot sun and a sheltered location as the leaves get badly torn by the wind. It produces very tiny fruit, after which the stem dies and should be removed. The plant will send new shoots from the soil, they can be removed to start another group or left. Updated 13/9/2018