Posoqueria latifolia

Discussion in 'COMPANION PLANTS - TROPICAL & SUBTROPICAL' started by kwtimo, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    CAM00110.jpg CAM00107.jpg CAM00106.jpg CAM00108.jpg CAM00109.jpg Prior to my posting new threads on some of my favorite fragrant shrubs, I had noticed a definite trend in most of them. White flowers. From the Tabernaemontana species, to Gardenia (even G.tubifera var. Kula has blooms that start golden orange and fade to white), Michelia alba, Murrya paniculata, all of the Jasmines (shrubs & vines), and Magnolia grandiflora. Not sure why that is, but it is. Posoqueria latifolia is no exception. I've heard it referred to as Brazilian Needle Flower, which I think is unfair, because the name needle flower may dissuade some from even looking into it. A very attractive shrub with dark green, glossy 3" to 4" leaves. The clusters of white flowers are deliciously scented with a unique floral tone, and if happy, will bloom throughout most of the year. The large fruits when yellow in color and ripe are not only a source of viable seed, but they are edible and tasty. I have a very happy specimen planted in the ground, and another in a rather large container. Both are doing very well. They seem to really like good amounts of sun, water, and fertilizer, and will generously respond to care, attention, and admiration. These have proven to be a bit tricky to find, but are most certainly worth the search if it will grow in your zone. Anyone else have any experience with the wonderful shrubs?
     
  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I bet this has something to do with attracting insects for pollination. If the flowers are just plain white, as opposed to some of the wildly colorful species, they have to use something.

    Some other examples would include the Hawaiian Pikake flower (technically a jasmine type, I think), tuberose, and the common white plumeria. And I believe the flower of ylang ylang is also white.
     
  3. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    Interesting theory on the pollination, I hadn't thought about that. I'll look further into it and see if I can find some answers. Ylang Ylang or Cananga odorata actually has a yellow flower at its peak. They start off green and turn an almost golden yellow. The color reminds me of a very ripe banana. There are a handful of some yellow blooming shrubs and trees that are at the top of my list. Aglaia odorata, Cananga odorata, Michelia figo (creamy pale yellow) and Brunfelsia nitida (start yellow and fade to white, nocturnal scent only) to name a few. Unfortunately, Aglaia odorata has to be one of the most underused shrubs in the landscape. It might be due to lack of availability until recent years.
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I had always wondered if most of these flowers that seem more fragrant at night were really that way, or just more noticeable while walking on a peaceful evening.

    But this could also be due to the pollination and lack of visual queues at night. I believe I read somewhere that there are some flowers that specifically do this due to a night time pollinator - but perhaps it is used more widely in the plant kingdom than previously given credit for.
     
  5. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    I took this photo last week of the same plant in the original post. This is in its full blooming glory and smells heavenly. CAM00998.jpg
     
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  6. VeroKarl

    VeroKarl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Vero Beach
    I agree with your assessment of Aglaia odorata. If you like fragrant shrubs it is a must for the garden. The flowers are not particularly showy because of the size and the subtle color blends in with the leaves, but the fragrance makes up for it and it is an attractive evergreen that looks good even if it did not bloom. I love the fragrance and the appearance of the Ylang Ylang flowers, but unfortunately the plant did not survive the winter here in Vero Beach. I had the dwarf (fruticosa), so don't know if the tree is hardier. I also have the Ylang Ylang vine which has grown very well and is not fazed by cold, but have not noticed much fragrance from it and the flowers are not as showy. My Michelia figo is finally putting on a real show this year, it is currently covered with blooms. To me the fragrance is so slight that it is hard to even pick up, but the plant is great. Michelia alba and champaca on the other hand are incredibly fragrant and have been very fast growing here.
    I am not familiar with Posoqueria and don't know how hardy it is, but it certainly looks like something that would be a nice addition. I will need to look into it.
    It does seem like the majority of the really fragrant plants around here have white or pale yellow flowers (the cestrums and citrus are other examples), but there are the fragrant flowering plants that would be growing further North that don't fit this color scheme such as lilacs, lavender, wisteria and all of the scented roses. I assume it all relates to the pollinators they are trying to attract. Not something that I had thought about until seeing it mentioned here, but interesting to consider. Could make a good science fair project.
     
  7. pocomo

    pocomo Active Member

    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    10
    Most probably the nectary is at the base of the flower stem and the length corresponds to the length of the probiscus of a night flying moth attracted by the fragrance. Pollination occurs when the moth drinks the nectar and its head transfers pollen from one flower to another.
     

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