Do you know that Homalomena Rubescens flowers?

Homalomena Rubescens (Roxb.) Kunth

Potted Homalomena Rubescens at our frontyard, taken on Dec 2006 Homalomena amongst other plants at our garden porch, taken Oct 2006

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

  • Botanical Name: Homalomena Rubescens (Roxb.) Kunth
  • Common Name: Homalomena Rubescens, Homalomena
  • Family name: Araceae (or Aroid or Arum or Philodendron)
  • Plant type: An ornamental perennial foliage shrub, native to Tropical Asia and America.
  • Light: Semi-shade to full shade with preference to bright light or dappled sunlight.
  • Moisture: Moderate to low water needs.
  • Soil: Any container soil mix that can hold adequate moisture, yet well drained and aerated.
  • Propagation: From underground rhizome which produces offsets (new plants). Can also be propagated from stem tip cuttings
  • Features: Homalomena Rubescens is an evergreen plant that grows moderately between 0.6-1.3m high and almost as wide. It is grown for its amazing foliage of deep green heart-shaped leaves with shiny/glossy texture and beautifully veined. Individual leaf can be 20-35cm long and 15-25cm across held on long slender petioles in dark brown or deep purple. A very mature plant can eventually be top heavy and has a leggy trunklike stem whose withered lower leaves were trimmed as the plant ages. Belonging to the Araceae family, it is best characterized by its distinctive inflorescence, a spadix enclosed by a single spathe on a short peduncle (flower stalk)
  • Care: This is one of those easy-care houseplant that is undemanding. It’s recommended to give it dappled sunlight and keep soil evenly moist, but if the foliage begins to yellow, you’re probably overwatering or plant is lacking nutrients. Fertilize once monthly during the growing season with a foliage houseplant fertilizer. If grown indoors as a houseplant, regular misting probably 3-4 times weekly of its foliage during hot seasons will maintain its beautiful appearance. Try to keep its foliage free of dust by dousing or washing regularly to keep it healthy. Keep an eye out for infestation of aphid, scale or mealybugs, though it’s unlikely.
  • Usage: It is excellent as a houseplant as well as an interior decorating container plant in offices and hotels. Can be used as a standalone in patios or amongst other plants to form a crowd. Great too as an ornamental landscape or groundcover plant for woodland garden or any shade gardens.
  • For sub-tropical & temperate regions: Ooops, not many related links to choose from? But since Homalomena is closely related to Philodendron, looking quite similar and needing the same conditions as it does, this educative Philodendron link may suffice, I hope. However, do check here to enjoy Abrimaal’s story-telling images of his lovely Homalomena Rubescens plant and explore further into his awesome site to gain more insights on Aroid plants.

We too didn’t know earlier that this ornamental foliage plant, Homalomena Rubescens (Roxb.) Kunth will produce flowers! Late November last year, we were pleasantly rewarded with a first bloom and subsequently emerged another 10 more blooms in succession within 1.5 months! How fascinating and exciting!

Displaying an offset, inflorescence and petioles of potted Homalomena Rubescens at our backyard - Dec 2006 Spent flowers of Homalomena Rubescens (Roxb.) Kunth, shot Jan 2007

In fact, I was drawn subtly into its flowering sequence because I’d wanted to photograph its existence into our garden. Wow!…was I glad to say the least, as I witness its unfolding inflorescence containing the burgundy-red spathe and almost-white spadix, sometimes referred as flower! What fabulous contrasty shades as seen in the photos above! Surprisingly, the spadix will only show for a day and then ‘hide’ into the spathe the next day exposing only its tip of about less than half an inch and the following day totally enclosed by its spathe and droop downwards! What a funny way to announce its existence and then retreat so quickly? And yet, each of the drooped flowers will take as long as 1 month to finally rot, such resilience! Amazing, isn’t it? :)

I’m so happy that our plant rewarded us big time for TLC and we had 11 occasions altogether to delight in! What a productive plant it was! Could it be that it is extremely happy and thankful to be relocated to our backyard where dappled sunlight flirted with it? I’m sure that’s it!! :D

Last edited: May 28, 2016

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