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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens claeri

Here’s something you might not have seen before.  Impatiens claeri is an exotic rarity with fascinating, sea-creature shaped blooms plus terrific variegation.  I'm not sure which i like better, the flowers or the foliage!  The oversized, 5-inch leaves have handsome silvery markings on a velvety, deep-green background, which is quite unusual for Impatiens.  Most people never guess that this is an Impatiens!  This is a first-rate houseplant that deserves to become very popular.  It is hard to find and rarely seen for sale.

Impatiens claeri

Impatiens claeri is a perennial species from rain forests of Cameroon and Gabon in West Africa.  It has an upright growth habit, with interesting, rigid stems that resemble wood.  It grows at a moderate pace, but it is one of the largest Impatiens species, growing to 10 feet tall!  The flowers appear in waves throughout the year.  The 2-inch blossoms are hard to describe, but look sort of like an exotic seashell or orchid.  They are generally lilac in color, with reddish-pink markings along the side, fading to white toward the curved "tail".  This is a naturally-occurring species, not a cultivated hybrid.

Impatiens claeri is happiest between about 50 and 85 degrees F (10-29°C), with cool nights.  It can tolerate temperatures close to freezing, but it may perish from freezing temperatures.  Fortunately it grows great as a houseplant.  It prefers filtered sun or bright shade.  It will need some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It does not need a lot of light to thrive.  Like most Impatiens, it prefers fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Over about 40-50% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and long-lived plant.

Impatiens claeri

 

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Turquoise Puya

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