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APHELANDRA sinclairiana

Image of Aphelandra sinclairiana

James Burghardt

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

APHELANDRA sinclairiana

Plant Common Name

Orange Shrimp Plant, Panama Queen, Sinclair's Aphelandra

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Showing that Mother Nature loves jarring colors, Panama queen bodaciously displays flowers in late winter with orange bracts and rosy pink flowers. A tall, rangy evergreen tropical shrub from Central America, it is tender to chilly temperatures, readily shedding leaves in cold or droughts.

The long tapered oval leaves are glossy green to yellow-green, with depressed veins that add a corrugated texture. In the waning days of winter and into the late spring, the stem tips hold an upright flower spike that is filled with bright orange bracts (modified leaves) shaped like shells. From the base and progressing upwards, long rosy pink tubular flowers emerge. Additional lower side shoots form at the base of the initial flower spike, extending the floral display for weeks. The orange bracts remain attractive long after the real pink flowers diminish.

Grow Panama queen in partial sun in a humus-rich, sandy, non-alkaline soil that is moist in the growing season and slightly drier in winter. The plant reaches tall heights for a shrub in frost-free locales, and often loses its lowest stem leaves. Prune back this shrub severely after the spring flowering and allow it to rejuvenate full and lush. Resist any pruning of stem tips after summer's end so to not thwart the flower production a few months later. Use this as an accent shrub in the mixed tropical border around bright foliage shrubs as it is quite mundane when not in flower. In temperate areas it is truly only suited for larger conservatories.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Orange, Pink, Rose

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No