Soon after I arrived home, I found a small one in a local garden centre so I bought it. It has survived ever since, growing much larger and needing an enormous pot. I keep it indoors on a windowsill, but it only flowers if it has a lot of warmth and sunshine, and especially if it has been pruned. A couple of years ago I managed to get a cutting to grow.
This summer, both of my little trees managed to flower.
The flowers are unusual in that they have 6 petals. I was curious to find what other dicotyledonous plants have flowers with 6 petals, and the first I discovered was Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and this turns out to be in the same family as the Crepe Myrtle (Lythraceae). Earlier this week I was out walking with a friend and we came across some Purple Loosestrife.
Two days later, I was out walking again and we came across the other member of this family which commonly grows wild in the UK - Water-purslane (Lythrum portula). This is quite an insignificant plant which sprawls on mud.