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Products > Mackaya bella
Mackaya bella - Forest Bell Bush
Image of Mackaya bella
[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.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Mackaya bella.