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Products > Mackaya bella
Mackaya bella - Forest Bell Bush

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus¹)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Light Lavender
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Mackaya bella (Forest Bell Bush) - This upright-dense growing evergreen shrub grows up to 6-8 feet tall or more with oppositely arranged 4 to 5 inch long glossy slender elliptically shaped dark green leaves that have wavy margins and prominent midrib and veins on the lower surface. In mid-spring to early summer appear the beautiful clusters of 2 inch long trumpet-shaped pale lavender flowers with the throats having pronounced deep purple veins. Plant in partial sun to dense shade in well-draining soil and give regular to occasional irrigation. It is hardy to about 20 degrees F. Can be pruned hard to control size and shape. It is a nice addition to a tropical-looking garden as a specimen plant or for use as an informal hedge and can be trimmed up as a small tree. The genus Mackaya was named after James Townsend Mackay, author of Flora Hibernica and the specific epithet 'bella' is Latin for "beautiful" in reference to its attractive flowers. It occurs naturally in forests and along streams in the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Swaziland and Northern Province of South Africa.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Mackaya bella.