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Heterocentron elegans, photo courtesy of blickwinkel/Alamy
Heterocentron elegans, photo courtesy of blickwinkel/Alamy

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Zone
Zones 15-24
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Heterocentron elegans

Spanish Shawl
Melastomataceae
Perennials

Colorful Mexican and Guatemalan native formerly known as Schizocentron elegans. Grows just 2–4 in. high, 1 1/2 ft. wide, with creeping, vinelike habit. Glossy, oval evergreen leavesmay take on reddish tones as the season advances. In summer, inch-wide magenta flowers appear among the leaves; calyxes remain after blossoms have withered. When used as a groundcover, blooming plants look like a carpet of bright bougainvillea. Great in hanging baskets. Needs frost protection inZones 15, 16, 18–20. Best in partial shade but tolerates full sun (in cooler climates) as wellas full shade. Protect from snails and slugs.

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