Melochia tomentosa

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Tea Bush, Wooly Pyramidflower


Plant Specifics

Size:Usually to about 3 ft. tall but has been reported to as much as 10 ft.
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Pink
Phenology:Evergreen. Flowers year round but most heavily fall to early spring.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Use as a specimen plant.
Availability:Seed, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Lime rock, Sand
Soil pH:Likely calcareous



Attracts pollinating insects, especially bees.  Roger Hammer reports that insects swarm on the flowers, especially small butterflies such as hairstreaks, crescents, blues, and skippers, and also nectar-seeking wasps, various native bees, and imported honeybees.

Native Habitats:Pine rocklands

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

USF Plant Atlas location in Hillsborough appears to have been from seed in imported soil - the one in St. Lucie County has been removed from the FLAS database (likely it was an error).

The Institute for Regional Conservation reports the species to be extirpated in Florida  though it is occasionally cultivated, potentially from imported plants.  Images provided here are from a specimen cultivated by Roger Hammer.