Malpighia cocigera is an interesting plant to grow. When I first started to grow this plant, I thought the seed was miss marked. Small miniature holly-like leaves with spiny edges reminded me of a miniature Chinese holly. When the plant was only 1 foot tall, I was rewarded with ½ inch pink blossoms with fringed petals. Miniature holly is native to the West Indies.
Blooming Time: The flowers bloom in summer and are followed by ½ inch red fruits.
Culture: Malpighia coccigera does best in direct sun or light shade, with night temperatures of 55 to 60 degrees and day temperatures of 68 degrees or higher. A suitable compost consists of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. Allow the compost to dry slightly in between waterings. Fertilize twice a year, usually in early spring and early summer with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label.
Propagation: Malpighia coccigera are propagated by stem cuttings in spring and summer. Seeds are started in equal amounts of peat moss and sand with bottom heat of 68 degrees.
Malpighia coccigera was featured as Plant of the Week December 10-16, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.