Marmalade Mussaenda
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Marmalade Mussaenda
ntroduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Marmalade Mussaenda
Botanical name: Mussaenda 'Marmalade'    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)

Marmalade Mussaenda is a new and distinct cultivar of Mussaenda, formed by hybridization of female parent Mussaenda philippica ‘Dona Luz’ and male parent Mussaenda luteola. It is a tropical upright shrub, with many branches, soft wood, terminating in velvet-like soft leaves. It is compact, multi-branched, non-suckering from base, hard wood trunk, new growth soft and flexuous, hardening off after some time. It grows up to about 2.44 m when 2-years old, with a spread of about 2 m. Mature leaves are 17-19.7 cm long, 7.6-8.9 cm wide. Flowers are umbrella-shaped, about 2 cm across, consisting of 5 petals with the bases fused to form a long tube. Each petal has a prominent ridge on the upper surface extending from near the center of the flower to the tip of each petal running the length of the petal. Petals are velvet-hairy, very short upright hairs cover both surfaces and make the surface appear to sparkle; dense longer hairs located at the center of the flower form a central "eye". Mature sepals are 4.0-4.5 cm long, 2.8-3.0 cm wide, much larger than the petals. Upper surface is pubescent with very short upright hairs which make the surface appear to sparkle. Shades of red and yellow inspired the cultivar name Marmalade.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed in Mumbai.
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