This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(old Latin name). Com-bretacese. Tropical shrubs and trees, many of which are climbers by means of the persistent leaf-stalks.
Leaves mostly opposite, in some species verticillate in 3's or 4's, entire: flowers in spikes or racemes, polygamous; calyx bell-shaped; petals usually 4; stamens usually 8: fruit winged and indehiscent, 1-seeded. -A genus of 250 species from Asia, Air. and Amer., particularly S. Africa The combretums are warmhouse plants, little known in this country. Prop, by cuttings of firm wood. One climbing species is in the American trade: C. coccineum, Lam. (C. purpureum, Vahl. Poivrea coccinea, DC.), from Madagascar. Leaves
flowers small, brilliant red, the long-exserted stamens forming the chief feature of beauty; the handsome loose spikes often in panicles; parts of the flower in 10's. B.M. 2102. L.B.C. 6:563. - Handsome. C. butryosum yields a butter-like substance, used by the Kafirs as food. C. sundaicum in recent years has attained some prominence as a reputed anti-opium remedy. N Taylor.†