Post last updated: October 10th, 2018

I went into Halls Ace Hardware in search of their red trash can. Our trash can with red paint on one side was beyond repair. A while back, the City requested that at least one of our trash cans have red on it to help the sanitation engineers see down our dead-street to determine whether or not we had landscape debris for pick up. I’m happy to oblige because I want the stuff to disappear.

Of course, now that I wanted a red trash can, Ace no longer carried it. Isn’t this the way it goes? I could have gotten out of there with no damage to my wallet, but of course, Ace booby-trapped the front door with a display of plants. And, of course, one of them stopped me in my tracks.

You know the drill. I went in for a trash can and came out with a plant. But for the serpent in the garden, we would have no temptation…

Dwarf Mussaenda (Mussaenda glabra)

  • Perennial
  • Native to Tropical Africa, Asia and Malaysia
  • Evergreen shrub
  • Zones 9-11
  • Height of 2 to 3 feet
  • Blooms all year — yellow star-shaped flowers with pale creamy yellow or off-white enlarged sepals (bracts) that resemble white wings or flags.
  • Requires full light but shade from hot sun. It wilts horribly in full sun. I will be digging it up and replanting it on Monday, July 28, in an area that receives morning sun only.
  • In temperate regions it blooms well in warm months but may need winter protection

I found it difficult to photograph the entire bush.  It didn’t seem to matter whether I photographed it in the morning, evening, with flash, or without flash. The result was always the same — the white sepals “blew out” and lost all detail.

Mussaenda dwarf bush-2502

Mussaenda dwarf close up-2493

23 thoughts on “BOOBY-TRAPPED”

  1. You slay me! I was “at the grocery store” one day and bought new chairs for my family room. Some how, not sure how, the furniture store jumped in my path. How does that happen?????

    1. Ann — I need to try rooting it. As plants go, it was relatively inexpensive — $12.99 — although anything over a dollar is past my psychological limit. Obviously, the heat got to me because Most Of The Time I have excellent resistance to consumer booby traps.

  2. It is a very pretty plant and I love the little yellow flowers besides the white “flags”.
    It looks like it would be easy to root from cuttings, so that you can overwinter it even if you happen to lose the Mother Plant.
    The white makes it show up in the evening hours, which always is a plus.

    1. Not that I am ever going to be outside in the evening hours, Meta. I have a resident black snake who has caused much pain to my injured back when I’ve danced a jig trying to get away from him. In the dark, I’d be too afraid of stepping on him and finishing myself off. I am going to try to root it but the heat is so bad that I don’t even the thing planted yet.

  3. Since the only hardware stores near me are Lowes and Home Depot, I never see exotic plants like the one you bought. Consider yourself blessed.

  4. That is such a beautiful bush. You ALWAYS have beautiful things growing in your yard. I am surprised you spent $13.00. I’ll send you the money so the bush will be my birthday gift to you.

  5. Too bad about your resident black snake. Even though they are harmless I would not want to step on it either.
    About cuttings: snip one off and put it in a glass of water. See if it will root that way as well.

    About your December Birthday……You have heard about Christmas in July, have you not? I think Evie is offering you a Birthday in July present. I would not turn it down, she might be starting a whole new trend.

  6. I was thinking about your resident black snake again, Linda.
    Actually, I do not think you have to worry about him at night.
    They are cold blooded creatures and they need the sun to warm themselves up to get around.
    Also they would not crawl/slither around at night, because night time predators like an owl will get them.
    I would think they hole themselves up in a burrow, or something like that.
    Anyway, just a thought.

    1. Meta – This is so thoughtful of you. Taking on worrying about the snake so that I wouldn’t need to. Personally, I think the snake should slither around at night when I don’t want to go outside, anyway. Then I could have the garden to myself during the day. I hate to even open the door at night. Between the flying things and those green frogs on my front door that fall inside when the door opens, and the wild possibility of a boogeyman in the bushes… uhn uhn.

  7. I can see how you got ambushed! It’s totally not fair when they put such plants near the door. Beautiful, striking, AND unusual looking? Triple whammy – I don’t know how you ever had a chance.

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