This popular house-plant, a native of Madagascar, was introduced to the Western world as relatively recently as the 1930s. The name is derived from the Chinese, with the second part of it in tribute to the German botanist, Robert Blossfeld.

It is a highly attractive plant, with glossy evergreen foliage and flowers that come in a range of colours. It can grow to a height of 30/45 cm and a width of 10-50 cm.

But although very pretty, perhaps a certain caution is called for when plumping for it as a house-plant, as parts of it are poisonous if ingested. Perhaps this may explain another, slightly more sinister nickname for it - "Madagascan Widow's Thrill" It is also for rather more obscure reasons, known as the Panda Plant.

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