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  Stachytarpheta mutabilis (Jacq.) Vahl
  Family Name : Verbenaceae

  Synonyms : Verbena mutabilis

  Common Names : Changeable Velvetberry, Red Porterweed, Pink Snakeweed, Pink False Vervain, Pink Rat Tail

Changeable Velvetberry,Red Porterweed,Pink Snakeweed,Pink False Vervain,Pink Rat Tail
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Woody)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      1.2 m to 1.8 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Mexico, Caribbean, South America
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Local Conservation Status :
      Exotic (Spontaneous ( Naturalized))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: A woody shrub with long prominent spike inflorescences. 
      Foliage: Opposite leaves are elliptic to ovate (5 - 12 cm long, 2.5 - 6 cm wide). The leaf margin is serrate or crenate, having teeth that point towards the leaf tip. Leaves are deeply veined, giving the upper surface a rugose, uneven texture. The lower surface is covered in soft, short hairs. Leaves are acute (pointed, but indistinct tip) or acuminate (thin, distinct pointed tip). 
      Stems: Woody stem has light grey bark. Young stems are 4-sided and covered in soft, short hairs.
      Flowers: Salverform flowers have a white throat and 5 lobes (1.3 - 1.8 cm long, 1 cm wide). Initially bright red or magenta, they gradually become light pink over a few days. They are arranged on a 10 - 60 cm long terminal spike inflorescence (an inflorescence at the stem tip which has stalkless flowers held along one main axis). About 5 - 7 flowers are open at a time on the spike. They last for several days before being replaced by a new set. The inflorescence blooms in this manner for months. 
      Fruits: Dry, indehiscent fruit is known as a nutlet, a one-seeded small nutlike fruit. It is formed by the fragmentation of a multi-sectioned fruit into single-seeded pieces. 
      Habitat :
      Found in disturbed areas, such as along roadsides or in pastures that have been overgrazed. Also occurs along creeks, It is considered an invasive species in Australia, Hawaii, and the Fiji Islands. 
      Cultivation :
      Plant in well-drained, fertile soil enriched with compost. Space individuals 1.2 - 1.8 m apart. To prevent excessive establishment of new seedlings, remove spent flowers before they set seed. 
      Etymology :
      The genus "Stachytarpheta" comes from the Greek words for spike ("stachys") and thick ("tarphys"). It refers to the spike inflorescence found in many species of this genus.
      The species epithet "mutabilis" means that it has the ability to change. This refers to how the flowers change colour from reddish to pink over time.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      This species is planted as an ornamental shrub for its pinkish flowers. The flowers are interesting in that their colour gradually fades from reddish to light pink. This species is ideal for butterfly gardens as a nectar plant. Place it in the back to avoid obscuring smaller species. It may also be planted as a living fence or hedge. 
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Hedge / Screening, Container Planting
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Butterfly Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Invasive / Potentially Invasive
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Butterfly Food Plant (Flower Nectar), Bee-Attracting
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Associated with: Also by vehicles when the soil becomes trapped in the tires.), Abiotic (Wind)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Planting Distance :
      1.2 m to 1.8 m
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting (Softwood), [Remarks] (Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings. To collect seeds for propagation, allow the seedhead to dry on the plant before harvesting the seeds. )
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Raised / Sunken Veins
      Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) :
      Young Flush Texture(s) :
      Raised / Sunken Veins
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate; Elliptical)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Serrate / Toothed, Crenate
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Acute, Acuminate
      Foliar Base :
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Bark Colour(s) :
      Light grey
      Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Tap Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Pink, Red
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Flower Symmetry :
      Individual Flower Shape :
      Flower Size :
      Remarks (floral tube is 1.3 - 1. 8 cm long)
      Inflorescence Type :
      Flower Transitional Changes :
      Flowering Period :
      Flowering Opening Time :
      Flower Lifespan On Plant :
      Several Days
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Indehiscent Dry Fruit (Nut / Nutlet)

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