Halleria - Growing Guide

Growing Halleria lucida

Tree fuchsia

This is a tender but spectacular greenhouse plant which is native to South Africa. It is fast growing and needs to be grown in a decent sized pot as it is actually a small, shapely, specimen tree in its native habitat. In the wild it is an important component of traditional African or Zulu medicine.

H. lucida has lush, glossy, bright green foliage on arching and drooping branches and can often be multi stemmed to give an almost ‘willowy’ appearance. If your greenhouse or conservatory has a bed of soil in it this may well be the place to try this peculiar but frost tender plant.

The fruit and flowers appear from the trunk of the tree rather than from its twigs or branches. In botanical terms this is called ‘cauliflory’. The only other plant which one can immediately think of that does this is the New Zealand Fuchsia exorticata. H. lucida has orange or purple flowers which are fuchsia like in appearance and hang down in large clusters. In South Africa it is attractive to exotic nectar feeding birds.

After flowering clusters of small rounded fleshy fruits appear on the tree stem. At first they are green but they turn juicy and black when ripe. They are edible but not very tasty. 

This plant is best propagated from softwood new growth cuttings.


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