Family: Rubiaceae

These mainly autumn- and winter-flowering, decid­uous or evergreen shrubs from the Himalayas and China have pointed, bronzy green, oval leaves and fragrant, pink or white flower heads. Admired by gardeners, they are often hard to grow and are known to suddenly die for no apparent reason.


L. grandifolia, to 5 m (16 ft) tall, is deciduous and may be spreading or upright. It has much larger leaves and clusters of fragrant, white flowers in summer.

L. gratissima, a native of the Himalayas, is generally evergreen, growing to 5 m (16 ft). It has sweetly scented, rose-pink flowers during autumn and early winter.


In frosty climates, grow in a cool to intermediate conservatory or greenhouse, in pots or tubs of soil-based potting compost. Provide maximum light, but shade from direct sun. Plants may need to be pruned lightly after flowering to retain compactness. Outdoors grow in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position. Propagate from seed in spring or from semi-ripe cuttings in summer, both in a heated propagating case.


Zone 10.

Lovage      Luffa