Ochna serrulata – Mickey Mouse bush.
Mickey Mouse bushes will be available at our popular plant sale on our Open Gardens Constantia days: November 14th and 15th.
The names carnival bush or Mickey Mouse plant couldn’t be more apt: these are the most cheerful and almost frivolous of shrubs. They are also an essential addition to ‘bird’ gardens.
Each season has something new to offer. Early spring sees the arrival of a profusion of delicately scented five-petalled flowers with bright yellow crinkled petals, often on bark branches. The new foliage, which starts emerging while the flowers are still on the plant, are an attractive bronze. Then the fruits begin to develop and turn from green to black while the calyx turns a vivid scarlet.
Although the fruits may be consumed by birds the colourful calyxes remain on the plants from late spring and persist well into summer. In cold winters these shrubs also have some appeal – when their attractive tan stems are bare of leaves their twiggy growth habit is revealed.
Photo credit: Marianne Alexander