evergreen, spreading tree from tropical seashores of the Indian and
Pacific Oceans grows to a height of about 30 ft (9 m) with a spread
almost as great. It has large, heart-shaped, soft green leaves with
white undersides and bears scattered clear yellow flowers with large
crimson centers that turn orange as they fade.
There are cultivars with purple or variegated leaves.
It flowers for most of the year.
Cultivation: Easy to grow, the shrubby species thrive in sun and
slightly acid, well-drained soil.
Trim after flowering to maintain shape.
Propagation is from seed or cuttings or by division, depending on
Watch for aphids, mealybugs and whitefly.
Medical use: Infusion of the wood used for diabetes. Mature leaves,
fruits and shoots used for fever, coughs and bronchitis. Flowers
used to cure headache. Seeds and bark
reputed to be emetic. Leaves for hair care and treatment. Against