February 8
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Plant Genus of the family Rubiaceae

Genus Description Cultivation
Bosea This genus of evergreen shrubs consists of 3 species that are geographically widely separated: one in the Canary Islands, one in Cyprus, one in the western Himalayas. The genus is of interest as being a woody member of the amaranth family, which otherwise consists predominantly of annuals and perennials. Bosea species have many crowded, cane-like stems from ground level, smallish simple leaves with smooth margins, and tiny white or greenish flowers in branched spikes at ends of branches. Fruits are very small berries. They have local uses as food plants and in traditional medicine. CULTIVATION: Although rarely found in cultivation they are easily grown in any well-drained soil, preferring full sun and a warm, sheltered position. They resprout vigorously after being cut back and can be grown as an informal kind of hedge. Propagation is easily achieved from cuttings, seed or root division.
Bossiaea This is an Australian genus of some 40 species of small evergreen leguminous shrubs. They usually have small rounded leaves in pairs. The foliage is often downy when young and occasionally spine tipped. The main ornamental feature is the pea-like flowers, borne singly or in clusters of 2 or 3 blooms, which open from spring to early summer and are often very brightly colored. Generally they open only in sunny conditions. CULTIVATION: Plant in full sun or partial shade with light well-drained soil. Some species occur naturally in marshy areas but in cultivation they are best kept on the dry side. Light feeding and watering will produce more flowers, but if too well cared for the plants will become very leafy and their lives may be shortened. Propagation is from seed, which should be soaked before sowing, or by taking small half-hardened tip cuttings.
Bouvardia This genus, reaching from southern North America to northern South America, includes several evergreen shrubs among its 30 or so species. Bouvardia tend to be rather sprawling, weak-stemmed plants that need support to keep them upright. Their leaves are not large but they are a pleasant deep green shade and are usually glossy. The long-tubed flowers are the main attraction. The brighter colors are visually striking while those in lighter shades or white are fragrant and popular as cut flowers. CULTIVATION: Bouvardia tolerates light frost only and needs a mild climate with rich well-drained soil to flower well. They are best in partial shade and also perform well as greenhouse and conservatory plants. Although inclined to be straggly, light trimming helps to keep them compact.
Cephalanthus This genus is comprised of only 10 or so species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees but has a wide distribution, occurring in temperate to tropical parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Cephalanthus are known as buttonbushes because their tiny flowers are borne in rounded button-like heads that are sometimes backed by small bracts. Firm top-shaped fruits follow. The leaves vary in size and shape but are usually a deep green, often tinted with red, especially on the veins, midribs or stalks. CULTIVATION: Hardiness varies considerably depending on the origin of the species, those from the tropics withstanding little or no frost, while the natives of North America are very cold tolerant. Although many are natural waterside plants that can grow in quite wet soil, they adapt well to garden conditions and thrive in any moist well-drained soil with a position in full sun or partial shade. Trim if necessary and propagate from seed or cuttings.

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