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Products > Plants - Browse By Region > Homalocladium platycladum
Homalocladium platycladum - Ribbon Bush, Tapeworm Plant

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweeds)
Origin: Pacific Islands
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Muehlenbeckia platyclados]
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Homalocladium platycladum (Ribbon Bush, Tapeworm Plant) - This unusual upright growing shrub comes from the Solomon Islands. It grows to 4 to 8 feet tall (even taller with support) with long wands of flat leafless stems that are 1/2 inch wide and jointed at nodes, giving the stem the look of a measuring tape. Older stems are more rounded. The leaves which are 1 to 2 inches long only occur on new growth. In the late fall through winter are borne the small greenish-white flowers in the stem joints which may be followed by red fruits (reportedly edible but not tasty). Plant in full sun or shade but it will look better and is darker green with protection from the hot sun. It can take regular irrigation and is surprisingly drought tolerant. It is hardy and evergreen to about 25 F but can resprout from the base if it is damaged at lower temperatures. This is a curiosity plant that draws attention from its unusual flattened stems. It makes an interesting specimen in large pots.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Homalocladium platycladum.