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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens bicaudata 

From the island of Madagascar comes this intriguing, rare species that few people have seen before.  Impatiens bicaudata has little resemblance to common Impatiens, with its oddball, multicolor flowers that sort of look like crested birds.  The plant is also unusually robust, growing up to 6 feet tall!  It puts out loads of blooms throughout the year, making it a very showy conversation piece.  This is a very desirable species for collectors of weird & wonderful plants!

Impatiens bicaudata

Impatiens bicaudata is a perennial species with an upright, shrubby growth habit.  Its succulent stems develop a woody appearance with age and can get incredibly thick - up to 4 inches wide at the base!  The hooded blooms are a little over an inch tall and appear most months of the year.  Here in cool San Francisco they have reddish tones, but in warmer conditions they can be more pinkish.  They have interesting yellow & red markings inside, and bright purple pollen!  You can create interesting new hybrids by crossing it with some other Impatiens from Madagascar, like Impatiens tuberosa and Impatiens laurentii.

Impatiens bicaudata

It comes from a climate that is mild all year, with nights that are cool.  It is untested in warmer climates like Florida, so consider it experimental in hot conditions, particularly if nights are warm (over 65F / 18C).  It needs protection from freezing temperatures.  It likes bright, filtered light or morning sun.  Give it some protection from strong afternoon sun.  Like most Impatiens, it enjoys fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it is super vigorous.

 

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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