It was the spectacular splash of white and pink dashes of foliage, which I initially thought were flowers, that drew my attention to this dense shrub growing beside the perimeter wall of a house in the neighbourhood. I have walked along this way before but somehow the plant did not catch my attention before as it did on this morning, could be the white and pink foliage getting more prominent at this time of the year. It’s the first time I come across this plant, took me a while to figure out what it is after much googling.
Breynia Disticha ‘Roseo-picta’ (Leaf Flower, Red-Leaf Breynia) is an attractive tropical shrub that will make a colourful addition to any garden setting. The ornamental foliage of this hardy plant are green, white, pink and mottled in appearance, making it an ideal specimen plant for patio pots and containers. With its densely covered ovate green leaves, spectacularly splashed with white and dashes of pink foliage, it gives the false impression of a flowering shrub.
Flowers do sometimes appear on mature plants, although they’re small and green, not at all showy, hiding under the foliage. Breynia disticha is a plant in the family Phyllanthaceae, first described in 1776. It is native to New Caledonia and Vanuatu in the western Pacific, but naturalized on a wide assortment of locations around the world, and grown as a tender perennial.
All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 35mm