Psychotria loniceroides (Hairy Psychotria)

Scientific Name

Psychotria loniceroides Sieber ex DC.

Common Names

Hairy Psychotria

Synonyms

Myrstiphyllum loniceroides, Uragoga loniceroides

Scientific Classification

Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Psychotrieae
Genus: Psychotria

Flower

Color: White
Bloom Time: December to March

Description

Psychotria loniceroides is a shrub or a small tree that grows up to 16.4 feet (5 m) tall with a stem up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. The trunk is crooked with various bumps, the base of the trunk is not buttressed. Leaves are opposite, egg-shaped, softly hairy, mid to light green above, paler green below, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Clusters of white flowers form on a loose branching head appear from December to March. Fruits mature from February to September, being a yellow or creamy drupe.

Psychotria loniceroides - Hairy Psychotria
Photo via eys.trin.org.au

Hardiness

USDA Hardiness Zone 10a to 13b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 70 °F (21.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Hot Lips grows where the soil is rich and humid from leaf litter, moist, and sheltered from the most powerful sun rays by upper story trees. Interior growers turn to plants from around the world to add exotic touches to the home. Hot Lips plant fits the bill but requires a tropical environment. For this reason, it is mostly a collector's plant for much of the United States.

Growing Hot Lips plants requires a heated greenhouse or solarium, high humidity, and shelter from harsh solar rays. Growing Hot Lips plant means mimicking the tropical understory environment for which it is suited. Most potting soil will not have both the excellent drainage and moisture retentiveness necessary to raise these plants. Add a bit of vermiculite and peat moss before potting up the plant. Place it in an area with temperatures of at least 70ºF (21ºC), a humidity of at least 60%, and bright indirect lighting. See more at How to Grow and Care for Hot Lips Plant.

Origin

Native to forest areas of eastern Australia.

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