Hamelia Patens is an evergreen to a semi-evergreen, flowering, large, open, herbaceous, perennial shrub or small tree. Typically multi-trunked or clumping with soft stems. Grows 2-4m tall with a spread of 1.5-2.5m. Noted as reaching 7m tall in its native habitat. Fast-growing at a rate of over 1m p/a.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of tannins. It is grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its showy flowers, which are often borne when the plants are less than 60cm tall.