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Pink Lady

Pink Lady

Heterotis rotundifolia

  • Common name: Pink lady, Spanish Shawl, rockrose
  • Scientific name: Heterotis rotundifolia, Dissotis rotundifolia
  • Family name: Melastomataceae
  • Origin: Tropical regions of Africa
  • Height: 1 ft
  • Width: Varies depending on where its grown
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: USDA Zones 10 through 11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade.
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers an organically rich, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs. Soil should be kept moist.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests or diseases are of particular concern.
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a warm, humid area. Although it does best in full sun, it can also be grown in part shade, but may not flower as much. This plant often tends to spread along the ground quickly, so keep an eye on it to ensure that it does not become weedy, especially since it has the potential to become an invasive plant.
  • Characteristics: The way this plant grows depends on its surroundings, it may grow straight up, or it may spread flat along the ground. The stems are thin, leggy, and light reddish brown in color. Leaves grow oppositely and close together, bring ovate, broad, and pointed at the tip with 3 to 5 prominent venations and a fuzzy texture. Flowers are bright pink to purple in color, with five round petals and yellow and purple stamens. Fruits are small and globose, covered with red, fuzzy protrusions which contain the seeds.
  • Propagation: Easily propagated by seed, cuttings, and division.
  • Wildlife: The flowers attract pollinating insects.
  • Facts: In some areas the leaves are used as a spice for sauces. In Africa, this plant is native to many countries with tropical forests, where it grows along streams and up to altitudes of 4000 ft.
  • Designer considerations: It spreading habit makes it an excellent groundcover plant in both sunny and shady areas. It is commonly planted around trees and next to walkways. Additionally, its attractiveness to pollinators makes it a good choice for butterfly gardens.