This attractive shrub with grey-green foliage carries
bright pink star-shaped flowers from June to September. Acmadenia
mundiana belongs to the Citrus family (Rutaceae). There are
33 species in the genus Acmadenia and they are mainly found
in the southern and south western Cape.
In this family, Rutaceae, the leaves and fruit are
dotted with aromatic oil glands that produce a fragrant scent unique
to each species. Acmadenia belongs to a group of genera in
the Rutaceae locally referred to as buchus. The well known medicinal
buchu is Agathosma betulina, a related species. Buchus are
quite easily identified by the strong aromatic scent released when
the leaves are crushed. They are mostly small-leafed shrubs with
pink or white star- shaped flowers.
Acmadenia mundiana is a densely branched, single-stemmed
shrub. It grows to a height of 1.2m and spread of 0,7m. The shaggy-hairy
leaves are 11mm. long and 4mm. wide with a prominent midrib. This
evergreen shrub bears bright pink flowers (15mm wide) at the tips
of stems during winter and spring. The flowers have five petals
with a dark pink nectar guide on each petal leading into the flower
with a closed throat. The flowering shrubs attract bees, their pollinators
and butterflies to the garden.
Acmadenia mundiana is restricted to limestone
hills and outcrops between Cape Agulhas, Bredasdorp and De Hoop
Growing Acmadenia mundiana
Acmadenia mundiana easily adapts to growing
in the garden where it requires full sun and well-drained slightly
acid soil. Plants respond well to a slow fertilizer such as 3:1:5
and an annual mulching with compost or a thick layer of mulch. This
helps to reduce weeds and keeps the soil temperature low. Acmadenia
mundiana can be used as container plant, in mix borders or in
Buchus can be propagated from seed or cuttings. Sow
fresh buchu seed in autumn in a seedtray containing a well-drained
medium of equal portions of sand, loam and compost. Use some of
the medium to cover the seed and water. Place in a covered area
with good light and air circulation. Keep medium damp. Germination
occurs in 1 to 2 months.
Prick young seedlings out into bags containing a fynbos
medium when 4 true leaves have developed. Pinch out the growing
tips of the seedlings to encourage bushy growth. Flowers are produced
after two years.
Cuttings have the advantage of producing a larger
flowering plant sooner than than seedlings. Tip cuttings, 50-70
mm, are taken from the current year's growth (December to February).
Prepare cuttings by making a clean cut below the node and remove
the third of the foliage. Dip the base of the cutting in a rooting
hormone. Place the cuttings in a medium of 50% bark and 50 % polystyrene.
Firm medium around cutting. Ideally these cuttings should now be
placed in an well-aerated propagation unit with a bottom heat of
24-degree Celsius. Rooting occurs in 9 to 11 weeks. Carefully pot
the rooted cuttings using a well-drained, humus riched fynbos potting
medium (2 parts leafmould, 1 part coarse sand). Plants will be ready
for planting in 7 to 8 months. Feed regularly with a well-balanced
nutrient. Yellow leaves can be treated with an application of iron
Other interesting species in the genus Acmadenia
are : A. heterophylla,
a low spreading shrub with bright pink flowers in autumn. An ideal
plant to be used in coastal gardens, A.obtusata, commonly
know as the "Duineboegoe", grows to a height of 70 mm.
and displays clusters of pink star-shaped flowers from April to
November. These and other buchus including those in the genera Agathosma,
Adenandra and Coleonema prove to be excellent garden
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden