This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A small tree from Madagascar, having large green leaves and gorgeous scarlet flowers, produced in large heads which are suspended in a drooping manner on rather long stems. In the greenhouses of Europe it has long been an inmate, but is seldom seen in this country. It requires a high temperature, but under good conditions makes rapid growth. A plant well furnished with leaves makes a beautiful object for out-of-door decoration during the summer, its large dark green leaves making it very conspicuous and ornamental. A large plant in a tub we have here, formed, associated with other plants of similar nature, quite a subtropical group on. the lawn this summer. It succeeds well in a good rich fibrous loam, and when growing vigorously requires abundance of water. Good drainage is indispensable for maintaining a sweetness to the soil. Insects do not trouble it much if proper attention be paid to its several requirements; but if mealy bugs once get a foothold they are difficult to eradicate, finding good shelten-from the stipules at the base of the leaves..