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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - October 19, 2012

From: Coral Gables, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Information about Melochia tomentosa
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, We have a plant in our garden that was received as Melochia tomentosa. It is a woody shrub, about 6' tall and 8' wide. According to the Institute for Regional Conservation, this species is not in cultivation. We received our plant from a nursery. I've looked at photos of this species on your site. Can you tell me if this actually grows as a woody shrub? I could not tell by the photos. Thanks!

ANSWER:

The information in our Native Plant Database lists Melochia tomentosa (Teabush) as a shrub or subshrub which indicates it is woody.  The USDA Plants Database shows it as being native and occurring in Texas and Florida and native in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  This article from the US Forest Service says that the shrub grows to a height of 4 meters (appx. 13 feet).  Here is more information about the plants from the Palm Beach State College Landscape Plants for Southern Florida.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Teabush
Melochia tomentosa

Teabush
Melochia tomentosa

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