Synonym: Orthosiphon stamineus
Chinese name: mao xu cao (猫须草) or hua shi cao (化石草)
Origin: South East Asia
It is actually very easy to grow. Propagation is by stem cuttings. Sometimes, roots occur at the place where stems touch the soil. You can cut-off this portion and transplant it.
There is not much of a problem with pests. With full to partial sunlight and regular watering, it can grow very fast. Frequent prunning is necesary to shape the plant.
It doesn't take long for the young plant to start blooming. Flowering occurs throughout the whole year. In my case, at first all the dainty looking flowers were bluish-purple. The next batch of flowers from the same plant was all white. Now, for this current batch, well, there are mostly white with one or to bluish-purple ones.
Wilted flowers should be deadheaded to encourage more flowering later.
We can grow this plant as a ground cover. Alternatively, we can also grow it in a container.
This plant is also known for its medicinal values, particularly in healing kidney ailments like kidney stones. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and later made into a tea for drinking. Cat whiskers is used in the making of java tea.
Very easy to grow, therefore a useful plant to have at home.
Note: This post has been updated with the latest images on 24 Jun 2010.