|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Leea (after James Lee, Scottish nurseryman, 1715-1795). Vitaceae. Tropical small trees or shrubs, some of which are cultivated as young plants in warm conservatories for their coloured foliage and stately habit.
Leaves alternate, 1-3 times pinnate or simple, the petiole dilated at base; leaflets entire or serrate; tendrils none: flowers small or large, red, yellow or green, in cymes opposite the leaves; calyx 5-toothed; petals 5, connate at the base and joined with the tube of stamens; ovary 3-6-celled: cells 1-ovuled: fruits a berry, mostly succulent, nearly globose but flattened at the top.
Species: about 65, in tropics of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Pacific. Vitis differs in having the climbing habit, ovary 2-celled; cells 2-ovuled. The first species mentioned seems to be valued particularly for its flowers: the others are foliage plants which are presumably distinct horticulturally, but two of them may not be good botanical species, and cannot be distinguished without a knowledge of the flowers.
Leeas are tropical house plants. Leea amabilis has beautiful silvery vine-like foliage. It makes a handsome plant for pillar-posts, and does exceedingly well planted out; but it should be given a season of rest in winter by a partial drying out, when it will lose most, if not all, its foliage. This practice should be followed in any case. It may also be grown as a trained specimen in pots. Peaty soil is often recommended, but good light loam, with plenty of drainage, does equally well. CH
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- L. macropus , Laut. & Schumann, "with broad lfts".CH
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963