Colours and shapes
Amidst elegantly waving leaves, the stems – which feel like cork and are square – grow in high arches, bearing large pink bells. When they open, a cluster of dark pink flowers emerge - there’s always something happening with Medinilla. This majestic houseplant is a real feature and deserves a spot where it can stand and hang freely. This shows off the leaves (which can reach a length of 30 cm) well, and allows the flower clusters to emerge fully from the calyxes. It’s an easy houseplant to look after; Medinilla needs virtually no care and flowers for 3 to 5 months.
In the Philippines the flower is the symbol of Lakapati, the friendly goddess of fertility, who takes many forms, just like Medinilla. Medinilla has also been described by leading plant writer Rob Herwig as “the Rolls-Royce of houseplants” because it’s so special.
Medinilla is native to the Philippines and grows wild in South-East Asia, the Pacific and tropical Africa. It’s an epiphyte, which means that the plant grows on the branches of a tree without drawing nutrients from it. The plant has been known since the middle of the nineteenth century, when it was first described by the English collector J. H. Veitch.