The Q&A Archives: Unknown species name for Iboza

Question: I have a plant labeled "Iboza - Nutmeg Plant". It is a low growing, spreading plant with variegated leaves that are scented. I would like to know the species. Is it a perennial? I am in Zone 6 and would like to know if I need to bring it indoors over the winter. If you have any information on the species name, I would be most appreciative. I cannot find "Iboza" listed in any of my horticulture or gardening encyclopedias. .

Answer: Iboza has no common name, and consists of about 12 species, with 'riparia' being the most often grown. Native to the tropics and South Africa, it's generally grown indoors or in a greenhouse in the U.S. It's a perennial plant and should be cut back after blooming. The scented leaves might be why it was given the name 'nutmeg plant'. Iboza isn't related to nutmeg (Myristica) in any way, except perhaps, that the leaves share a scent common to that of nutmeg. Take it indoors for the winter, give it warm conditions and bright light, pinch back the flowering stems, and enjoy your plant!

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