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Adenandra obtusata

   (Family: Rutaceae)
English: China Flower  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 0.3 - 0.5m
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
pH: acid
Flowering time EDIT
    x x x x x x x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower type
  Flower info
  Showy, white flowers. The reverse of the petals is flushed pink and the inside white. The flower has five petals marked with a purple throat. Flowers occur solitary or in clusters of up to 4 flowers at tips of branches and form glutinous (sticky) heads. They are subsessile (almost stalk less) or sessile (lacking a stalk). Peak flowering occurs from autumn to spring.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf type
  Leaf scent
  Leaf info EDIT
  Leaves are dull green, smooth on top with a clear whitish-green mid-vein below. Leaves are oval in shape, 5 x 3mm. Leaves are erect to spreading, oblong, overlapping (imbricate) with thickened margins rolled back and downwards (revolute). Look closely and you can spot a few glandular spots on the margin. Leaves closer to the tip of the branch are more crowded together.
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
Sow seeds in Autumn
  Seeds per fruit 5
Seed colour
  Seed info EDIT
  Fruit develop after flowering and are round capsules with 5-chambers bearing one shiny black seed per chamber. Seed heads become sticky. Seed are collected upon ripening when the seed capsule becomes harder and dark green in colour.
Description EDIT
An evergreen single stem shrub growing to a height of 30-50cm.
It has showy white flowers and aromatic foliage which releases oil from glands when the leaves are touched or crushed.
Growing EDIT
It requires a sunny spot, well-prepared soil, enriched with compost and a well-balanced fertiliser.

Planting buchus into your garden is best done after the first good winter rains have started (May to August). Buchus respond to fairly dense plantings, which helps to retain soil moisture. An annual mulching of well-rotted compost is advised to reduce weeds and keeps the soil temperature low.

Buchus can be grown from seed or cuttings. Fresh buchu seed is sown in autumn. The seed are sown into a tray containing a well-drained medium of equal portions of sand, loam and compost. Use some of the medium to cover the seed and water. Place in a covered area with good light and air circulation. Keep medium damp. Germination occurs in 1 to 2 months.

Young seedlings are pricked out into 0,5 l bags when 4 true leaves have developed, using a fynbos medium. Pinch out the growing tips of the seedlings to encourage bushy growth. Flowers are produced after two years.

Cuttings have the advantage of producing a larger flowering plant quicker than seedlings. Tip cuttings, 50-70 mm, are taken from the current year's growth. Prepare cuttings by making a clean cut below the node and remove the third of the foliage. Dip the base of the cutting in a rooting hormone such as Seradix 2. Firmly place the cuttings in a medium of 50% bark and 50 % polystyrene. Ideally these cuttings should now be placed in an well-aerated propagation unit with a bottom heat of 24-degree Celsius. Rooting occur in 9 to 11 weeks. Carefully pot the rooted cuttings using a well-drained humus riched fynbos-potting medium (2 parts leafmould, 1 part coarse sand). Plants will be ready for planting in 7 to 8 months. Feed regularly with a well-balanced nutrient. Yellow leaves can be treated with an application of iron chelate.
Distribution EDIT
Endemic to Southern Overberg and grows naturally on rocky, coastal and inland slopes from Bredasdorp to Swellendam. It is found growing on coastal fynbos, flats and limestone hills at low attitudes and abundant on hard on exposed hills of hard limestone at Cape Agulhas.
History EDIT
The genus name of Adenandra derived from the Greek meaning aden, a gland; ander, a man. The specific name means "blunted" and may refer to the leaves.
Best used as garden plant, planted as a filler plant between taller shrubs and a herbaceous border. Allow enough space to ensure growth and to prevent being squashed by faster growing plants.

Flowering stems can be used in floral bouquets or in a mix bunch of flowers displayed in a vase.
Ecology EDIT
It only extends some 25 kms inland and is unlikely to be frost hardy.
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