Breynia disticha aka Snowbush


Breynia disticha, also known as snow bush, is a tropical shrub in the family Phyllanthaceae. It was first described in 1776 and is native to New Caledonia and Vanuatu in the western Pacific. However, it has naturalized on many other islands around the world, including the West Indies, Seychelles, and Hawaii, as well as in the U.S. state of Florida. This plant is known for its attractive red zigzag stems and variegated foliage. The elliptic to ovate green leaves (to 1” long) are liberally mottled with white, with cultivars featuring leaves mottled with pink, red, and purple. The small greenish apetalous flowers are insignificant. Breynia disticha is presumed to be pollinated by leafflower moths (Epicephala spp.) in its native range, like other species of plants in the genus Breynia. Leafflower moths have been reared from fruit of this species in New Caledonia. Snow bush is a perennial shrub that grows 2-4 feet tall and wide with a rounded to vase shape. It does best in moist average to fertile soil in full sun to partial shade. While traditionally a tropical garden plant, it is slowly becoming recognized as a houseplant because of its appearance. The genus name honors Jacob Breyne (1637-1697), a merchant in Danzig, and his son Johann Philipp Breyne (1680-1764), a physician in Danzig.

Common names

Snowbush, Foliage Flower

How to care for Snowbush


With a bit of knowledge and dedication, you can successfully care for Snowbush, making it a rewarding choice for those seeking a moderate challenge.


Snowbush should be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


Snowbush loves a well-draining soil. Perlite and vermiculite help with drainage, while coco coir adds organic matter, so a good potting soil mix will have all three. You can improve store-bought soil by adding some perlite to it.


Snowbush requires abundant, bright and direct light. Placing it less than one foot from a window is the best way to make sure the plant receives enough light to survive and thrive. Depending on your region, however, the current weather can affect the placement of the plant in your home. For example, in some areas the sun may be too direct and intense, so it's best to place it farther away from the window. You may also need to adjust your placement according to the season as the sunlight can change intensity over the course of the year. If you live in a region with significant temperature fluctuations, such as a desert, you may need to place the plant a bit farther away from the window to avoid extreme heat or cold. With some care and attention, your Foliage Flower will be sure to bring you many years of beauty and enjoyment.


No verified data on the toxicity of this plant exists within Ploi's records. Should you, someone in your family, or your pet ingest plant material with an unknown toxicity level, it is recommended to seek medical advice.


New growth will sprout from the top of the plant as it grows upwards.

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