Leea coccinea ‘Rubra’ – Hawaiian Holly – Ajaytao
Common name: Red Leea, Hawaiian Holly, West Indian Holly
Botanical name: Leea coccinea ‘Rubra’
Genus: Leea Species: Coccinea
Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)
Synonyms: Leea rubra
Leea (Tagalog: Talyantan) is a genus of plants that are distributed throughout Northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea, South and Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. Leea contains approximately 70 species and is placed in the Vitaceae family.
Red Leea is a very attractive shrub with decorative foliage and large groups of colorful flowers with petals which are bright red outside and yellowish inside, followed by black fruit. This plant is a tropical erect shrub. This plant is a tropical erect shrub. The specific name “rubra” fits it perfectly: the entire plant has red pigments, leaves, petioles, inflorescence, everything. But it also has eye-catching red blooms.
The genus was named by Linnaeus after James Lee, the Scottish nurseryman based in Hammersmith, London who introduced many new plant discoveries to England at the end of the 18th century.
It´s a 1.8-2,5m tall shrub with composite leaves and a thick foliage. The burgundy leaves are beautiful per se, and most people cultivate this species for the foliage. But it has a great bloom, a bright red and compact inflorescence with pink or white small flowers.
It grows in light shade. Can be grown in full shade, as well, but then, it will be especially vulnerable to parasites. Needs well drained soil, high temperatures, and moderate watering.
Leea coccinea is an underused gorgeous plant that looks similar to Nandina but is more tropical preferring warmer climates. Leea make great house plants as well. Trim to encourage bushy growth. Stems are also purple.
Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Pollen may cause allergic reaction