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Mystery plants: Bouncing bet, bleeding heart vine and dwarf yellow mussaenda

by Janet Carson October 31, 2021 at 11:01 a.m.

Mussaenda lutea or Pseudomussaenda flava -Dwarf yellow mussaenda – Native to Africa and Asia, this small tropical plants produces golden star shaped blooms which are surrounded by creamy yellow or white bracts.

It grows in partial to full sun with well-drained soil. An ever-blooming small evergreen shrub does well in containers. It will tolerate a light frost, but it is not winter hardy in Arkansas. I found this plant growing in Vickie's garden in Eudora. She has no idea where she got it, or what it was. That's how it goes with plant people!

Clerodendrum x speciosum

has several common names from red bleeding-heart vine to java glory bean. It is related to the more common white and red bleeding-heart vine-

Clerodendrum thomsoniae, but this one has a red flower and a red calyx.

This tropical vine will do well in full sun to partial shade and will bloom non-stop all summer. It can be grown as a hanging basket, or give it a trellis to grow on. Hummingbirds love this plant, but it will not overwinter outdoors.

Saponaria officinalis – bouncing bet or soapwort are two common names.

This perennial summer blooming European native can be aggressive in the garden. The low growing plant has either white or pale pink blossoms

which are attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It has a rhizomatous root system which spread quickly to form colonies in the garden, so beware when planting.

It will do best in full sun. The common name soapwort is because the roots of the plant contain saponins which will lather up. The powdered root is used to make natural bath and laundry products.

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