It's always intriguing to see something so familiar in a new and enthralling form. It's that newness that drives the need to know and the need to have. Who hasn't seen a white flower before? But what about one that takes shape and form into not so chartered territory. Come closer and see for yourself what lies in the enigmatic eye of a floral needle. Let me introduce you to the rare and exotic shrub known as Augusta rivalis, also commonly referred to as the Needle Flower. Augusta rivalis comes to us from Central America where it flourishes along the rocky banks of stream beds. It gets its common name from the intriguing needle-like form of its unopened 5 inch long, arching flower buds. Seeing this evergreen exotic in bloom is absolutely alluring. Imagine seeing it in its habitat extending beautiful branches out over a quiet stream and its long luxurious flowers mirrored in its reflection. The gentle sounds of babbling water and tropical birds calling out to each other swirling in the air. So soothing to experience. So tranquil to see.
Augusta rivalis grows up to 3 feet tall and wide. It tends to bloom continually from February to October. Blooms tend to open in the evening or on cloudy, overcast days. It is in the same plant family as coffee and gardenia. It also possesses a slight fragrance that is said to attract the large and mysterious hawk moth. If you are not familiar with hawk moths, know that they are incredible cool. They are large moths that resemble hummingbirds. They have the ability to hover when they sip nectar and prefer to dine during twilight. Augusta rivalis offers them an elegant 'flute' of floral champagne.
Augusta rivalis definitely sets a sensual mood with its rich, green glossy leaves and beguilingly beautiful exotic flowers. It likes to grow in full sun or part shade situations, acid to neutrally moist soils, as well as warmth and humidity to flourish. It is hardy down to the low 30's fahrenheit/0 degrees celsius. It looks awesome in a container or planted in a lush garden setting. Familiar with moonlight gardens? This would be an amazing plant for one. So beautiful, so mysterious. The kind of plant that makes you want to surrender yourself to an enticingly exotic elegant mood.