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