Brazilian candle, lots of flowers
Light: bright light
High: 4 to 6 feet
Distribution: 3 to 4 feet
USDA Zone of Hardness: 8a through 11
One of the more enchanting plants of Brazil is the Brazilian wax (Pavonia multiflora).
This beauty has large leaves (6-8 inches long x 2 to 3 inches wide), ovate, shiny, dark green. The leaves have prominent veins and smooth leaf edges.
The flowers are quite attractive; pale pink bracts (modified leaves) resembling sepals of flower buds, appearing first, ripening into dark raspberries. Bracts remain erect in a vase, do not spread or open, and provide an intense color to the plant that can last for weeks.
Deep purplish blue tube flowers finally appear, pushing through the bracts. The flowers themselves look like used hibiscus flowers.
Brazilian wax and related hibiscus flowers both belong to the mallow (Malvaceae) family. This plant thrives in areas with high humidity and bright light, and flowers all year round.
See Brazilian candles gleefully blooming in the Rainforest biome at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
– Barbara Arnold
Franklin Park Conservatory
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