- African Violets
- Day Lily
- Eucharist Lily
- Feature Foliage
- Goji Berry
- Ground Ivy
- Growing vegetables
- Louisiana Iris
- Mackaya bella
- Peace Lily
- Tree Begonias
August’s featured plant was the shrub Mackaya bella – talk by Elaine Becker
Sometimes known as the forest bell bush, Mackaya bella (ht 1.5-2.5m) is a South African member of the broader Acanthaceae plant family.
It is easy to grow in shady places and has
- lush and attractive leaves
- decorative two-lipped flowers, with four to five petals (one or more of which may be formed in the shape of a protruding tongue).
Mackaya bella flowers amidst glossy, wavy-edged leaves on a rounded shrub.
The flowers are large, the palest lilac-white and bell-like.
They are finely etched with purple and each has a flared, three-lobed lower lip, the same shape as those of the oyster plant (Acanthus mollis) without its purple bracts.
It thrives in a semi-shaded position and is an excellent choice for an informal hedge in a shaded spot.
It is sensitive to hard frosts, and needs to be pruned back after flowering for a compact shape.