This is a tall evergreen shrub up to 3m, with large shiny leaves which look attractive all year round. It has rounded clusters of tiny pink perfumed flowers in August and September. Hailing from Central America, it is a very tough, drought-tolerant plant for our gardens and is useful as a background shrub or grown as an informal hedge.
Fairly hard pruning each year after flowering will promote a denser form: otherwise it can get quite straggly. It will look at its best, and be most floriferous, in a sunny spot. It dislikes frost. It can be propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings taken in October or November. Often spurned as an old-fashioned plant, I think it fits in well in a garden planted with shrubby perennials from warm climates. I have seen it trained as a small tree, by removing the lower-growing branches, and I thought it looked very effective. It can be susceptible to scale attack: use white oil to deal with this problem.