SCalliia fragrans, A New Groundcover for South Florida
T.K. Broschat, H. Donselman, A.A Will Jr., and A. W. Meerointral Science
University of Florida, IFAS Library
Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center
Broward Community College APR 1 1989
FLREC Ornamentals Research Report 88-3
University of Florida
The original plants of this Callisia fragrans cultivar (synonym: Spironema) were
obtained by A.A. Will in 1978 from Guatemala. This cultivar was a sport growing in a bed of
normal green-leaved plants. This plant has been under evaluation at the FLREC since 1978
and is being released in cooperation with Flamingo Gardens, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
This cultivar has light green succulent foliage with lighter green stripes. It is very
similar in color to the cultivar 'Melnickoff' described in Hortus Third. Growth is rosette-like
with leaves 2-3" wide and 6-8" long. Plants are typically 12-18" tall, but flower spikes in the
spring extend 18" above the foliage. The flowers are white, rather showy, and fragrant.
They are open for several hours in the mornings for only one or two days, but flowering
occurs every few weeks during the spring months.
Callisia is easily propagated and shoots simply laid on the ground will easily root.
Once established, the plants spread by runners. They are very drought tolerant and will grow
in full sun or shade, but in partial shade the leaves will retain a darker green color.
Fertilization can be minimal. Plants can be spaced about 2' apart and will soon fill in the
beds completely. Gradually, as the beds expand, some edging may be required to keep the
plants from growing into adjacent turf or flower beds. No insect or disease problems have
been observed on Callisia in south Florida.