Pentas 

(pen' tass)

Common name: Egyptian Stars, Egyptian star cluster

Family: Rubiaceae (Madder)

Height x width: 6' x 3', often less in northern gardens and containers

Growth habit: upright, shrubby

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: ovate to lanceolate; opposite to whorled

Flowers: flat or domed cluster (corymbs) of salverform (tubular, spreading at the tips) florets, generally red, pink to purple

Hardiness: USDA zone 10

Soil: well-drained

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: aphids and red spider mites mainly indoors

Landscape habit, uses: massed, low hedging, pots, cut flower

Other interest: named for the five (Greek penta) floral parts; native to tropical Arabia, Africa and Madagascar; often seen as a greenhouse flowering potted plant or cut flower

Other culture: keep well-watered during growth, well-fertilized, prune to shape, overwinter indoors before frost or from rooted cuttings

Propagation: seed, softwood cuttings

Species: of the 30-40 species, lanceolata is the main one of ornamental use, together with its main cultivar 'New Look' which is also the main cultivar usually found; other cultivars below are generally not of this or other species

Cultivars:
 
Cultivar flowers other
'California Lavender' pale lavender dwarf, many flowers
'California Pink' pale pink compact
'Clean White Shorts' white deep green leaves
*'New Look' light pink dark green leaves
'Orchid Star' lilac, large light green leaves
'Pink Profusion' pink, white center compact
'Ruby Glow' red, star shaped compact
'Stars and Stripes' bright red yellow striped foliage
'Tu-Tone' pink, red center compact, large umbels


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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