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Re: plant question

> I wonder where the other 
> name came from - I have looked at it carefully, but can't make serissa
out of 
> what is written there.

You wrote that it looked like:  Seresita tortida

Seresita was either a misspelling / misunderstanding of the genus name on
the part of the person hand-writing the label.  Similar situation for
tortida, except that it may or may not be foetida.  Could be Serissa

Serissa is an East Indian name for this shrub, but also apparently the
botanical name that has stayed with it.  torrida means "growing in hot dry
spaces".  Perhaps the person who provided your plant was using a very old
species name that is no longer used.  Some references say that there is
only one species of Serissa, but if you scroll down in this message, you'll
see a cut & paste that refers to at least one more besides foetida - so
maybe torrida isn't totally out of the running. foetida, of course, refers
to "bad-smelling".


A common name: Tree of a Thousand Stars

Lighting: Partial sun for S. foetida, full sun for S. crassiramea. If kept
indoors, needs 1000 Lux. Use of grow lamps for 12 hours daily is
beneficial. Too little light will result in leggy growth.

Temperature: Hardy to zone 9. Some growers bring them in when temps drop to
50F, others leave them outside until temps are in the 20s! Ideal winter
temperatures range from 50-68F. More important than the actual temperature
seems to be two factors: the plant dislikes a sudden change in lighting
(many die from lack of light when brought indoors) and individual plants
may be show different hardinesses (a Serissa grown outdoors from youth will
withstand a greater variation in temperature than a Serissa purchased from
a greenhouse). If brought indoors, do not position this plant near a heat
source, or it will lose leaves. If kept outdoors year round, will drop
leaves as the temperatures become colder.

Watering: Keep evenly moist. It generally needs lots of water during warm
weather, so much that some authorities recommend placing the Serissa in a
tray of water. Others warn against this, as it encourages root rot. Serissa
is not a natural water-lover like bald cypress, so a water tray should not
be necessary if you faithfully water at the first sign of dryness. However,
if Serissa dries out, it will soon drop its leaves. If this occurs,
remember to reduce watering until the leaves return, or root rot may ensue.
Some recommend misting in dry weather. Some recommend daily misting, but do
not mist while in bloom as this causes the flowers to rot. Placing the
Serissa on a moisture tray is another option.

Feeding: Every 10-14 days during growth, every 4-6 weeks in winter, using
liquid bonsai food or half-strength plant food. Likes slightly acid soil
condiditions, so the occasional application of Miracid is appreciated.

Pruning and wiring: When in bloom, remove fading flowers to encourage
further flower production. Prune as needed; the Serissa is a fast grower
and may need radical or repeated pruning to maintain its shape. Will bud
back on old wood; in fact, some books recommend occasionally pruning back
beyond old growth to help the plant maintain its shape. Wire during the
growing period. Serissa will grow air roots and is often used in exposed
root or root over rock styles. Eliminate unwanted suckers extending from
the base. Suitable for all styles except formal upright and broom. Suitable
for extra small to medium sizes.

Propagation: Cuttings root quite easily. Lesniewicz recommends using 4 inch
cuttings in a glass of water from early summer on. The Samsons recommend
bottom heat which would probably induce rooting faster.

Repotting: Every 1-2 years in spring. The newly pruned roots will emit a
wretched odor! Prune roots moderately, and use basic bonsai soil.

Pests and diseases: Red spider mite, scale, wooly aphids, mildew. Pests are
usually not as much of a problem as a sudden change in conditions such as
light, temperature, etc.

Some species suitable for bonsai:

Serissa crassiramea: Makino serissa - A broad leaved shrub. It bears white
Serissa foetida (also called S. japonica): tree of a thousand stars, snow
rose, June snow - Many cultivars are available, including single and double
flowered varieties. Emits an unpleasant smell when pruned, hence the name. 
Serissa foetida 'Chinese' - small tubular white flowers which bloom only
sporadically. Light green foliage. 
Serissa foetida 'Flore Pleno' - double white flowers which are produced
throughout the year. Dark green foliage. 
Serissa foetida 'Kyoto' - a very tiny dwarf with single white flowers -
rarely grows over a foot high. 
Serissa foetida 'Kyoto Variegated' - Just what it says. 
Serissa foetida 'Mt. Fuji' - This cultivar has larger leaves and a thicker
stem than other Serissas. It is strongly variegated, with single white
flowers. Variegation changes throughout the year, based on temperature,
light and nutrient content. 
Serissa foetida 'Pink Mountain' - A slow growing cv. with variegated
foliage in winter and single pink flowers. 
Serissa foetida 'Pink Princess' - Light pink buds opening to white, tubular
Serissa foetida rosea 'Ahiro Pink' - single pink flowers, variegated
Serissa foetida rosea 'Cherry Blossom' - single pink blossoms, variegated
Serissa foetida rosea 'Pink Swan' - single pink flowers, variegated
Serissa foetida rosea 'Tancho' - single pink flowers, variegated foliage. 
Serissa foetida 'Variegata' -green leaves, with yellow or cream colored
Serissa foetida 'White Swan' - single white flowers, variegated foliage.
Reputedly stronger than the average Serissa, this cv. forms trunks quickly
and seems resistant to the normal Serissa fussiness! 
Serissa foetida 'Yatsubusa' - Very dwarf cv. with tiny pink and tiny dark
green congested foliage. 

> [Original Message]
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Date: 5/18/2003 5:57:33 AM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] plant question
> In a message dated 05/18/2003 7:34:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
> writes:
> > Sounds like it's Serissa foetida.  Here's a link with photo:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > I used to use this plant years ago in terrariums and dish gardens.
> > There is also a variegated form.  
> > 
> > 
> Thanks so much, Chris.  That is what it looks like.  I wonder where the
> name came from - I have looked at it carefully, but can't make serissa
out of 
> what is written there.  Does it need to be in a terrarium, or will it
> well in a pot?  I think it is a charming plant and it should be perfect
> our miniature flower shows.
> This greenhouse at Lasdon Park & Arboretum is run by volunteer members of
> Friends of ...  The person in charge is an orchid specialist, but he just 
> doesn't really focus on any other type of plants.  
> Thanks again.           Auralie
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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