Pentas, Egyptian Star Cluster, Star Flower 'Butterfly Red'

Pentas lanceolata

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Pentas (PEN-tass) (Info)
Species: lanceolata (lan-see-oh-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Butterfly Red


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bokeelia, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)

Gainesville, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Interlachen, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Newberry, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Austin, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Houston, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Victoria, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 18, 2012, PratikN from Vashi,New Mumbai,
India wrote:

Yes,truly a low-maintainence,all the year flowering plant it is.I have a red -purple variety I bought 2 months ago and since then its foliage has grown alternate week.They are basically shade tolerant plants so will thrive well in balconies as well ....They also provide a constant colour to ur garden and I've also seen butterflies visiting it the same day I shifted it from my balcony to the outside.This plant is nice to start with for beginners.Thumbs up!!!


On Jan 28, 2006, Don_Mader from Victoria, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

My penta is planted at the back of an annual flower garden. It has a southern exposure but is partly shaded. It blooms year round but heaviest from March thru October. Butterflies love it but haven't seen any hummers visiting it tho' I have several hummers that hang around.

Have had no problems with diseases or insects bothering it.

It did well even with the extreme heat through last summer.

I recommend it highly as a great low-maintenance shrub!


On Mar 24, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Easy to grow and a very attractive true red flower that butterflies love. However my pet cat liked these plants too. Whenever I would trim them and he was in the yard with me, he would jump into the bushes and rub around on the cut branches. It was just like a catnip reaction.
I have noticed the red variety from HD is not the same as my true red. It's slightly more purple than red and the HD variety does not attract butterflies (I have one of these too.) My new red Pentas was purchased last fall to replace others I lost in the hurricane last year. I had a difficult time finding the true red flower variety that I believe works best to attract butterflies. About two to three days after purchasing the plant, and while it was still in the nursery pot, I noticed caterpillars on t... read more