The leaves ofthe Gynura have an unusual purple-velvet sheen, which creates interesting visual effects when the foliage is moved. It is usually seen as a relatively compact and low growing plant, but can also trail or climb. It will, however, require tying to the support frame or cane, otherwise it can easily sag. The Gynura should be grown only as a foliage plant and any emerging flowers should quickly be removed. The flowers are unattractive in appearance and have a revolting smell that will fill the room where the plant is kept. After watering the plant, take care to remove any water droplets from the hairy leaves as they can magnify the rays of the sun and cause the leaves to be scorched.

Plant type : Foliage plant with loose trailing and semi-climbing habit
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 30-100cm (12—39in)
Flower : Indistinct, orange-yellow, 1cm (1/2in), with an unpleasant smell, produced in late spring/summer
Leaf : Triangular, slightly serrated, 6.5-10cm (2 1/2-4in), fleshy, dark green with attractive purple hairs
Temperature : 13-18°C (55—65°F)
Aspect/Light : Full light
Humidity : High
Watering : Barely moisten compost in spring and summer allowing to dry a little between waterings; keep drier in autumn and winter
Feeding : Half strength houseplant fertilizer once every four weeks throughout year
Propagation : Plant 7.5-10cm (3—4in) tip cuttings in seed and cutting compost at 18-20°C (65 — 68°F) from early spring to late autumn (mid spring to early summer gives best results)
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Aphid, mealy bug
Availability : Occcasionally available throughout year
Uses indoors : As novelty windowsill plant or as climber grown close to window