Ochna serrulata (Ochnaceae)

Ochna serrulata

This ornamental non-native species originates from South Africa and is one of those famous horticultural plants known as the Ochna, or more imaginatively, the Mickey Mouse Plant. This latter appellation arose as a result of the red calyx resembling the ears of mickey mouse. I must concede that the association seems a bit contrived, but it has stuck!

The leaves of this shrub are small (~5cm or less) and have a saw-like margin, hence the specific epithet ‘serrulata‘. There is no way therefore to mistake this plant for the Native Ochna (Brackenridgea australiana) which has much larger leaves without the teeth, and different venation. Ochna lives up to its ornamental nature when in flower. The flowers are yellow and quite showy when plants are in bloom, but of course, this is a plant for which by their fruits shalt ye know them!

Ochna serrulata

Ochna serrulata
Leaf undersurface

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About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Habitat - Urban Areas, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Non-Natives, Ochnaceae (Mickey Mouse Plant family), Ornamental Plants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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