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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens platypetala

I have over 50 species of rare Impatiens and this is one of my favorites!  Impatiens platypetala is a fantastic species that is practically unknown in cultivation.  It looks somewhat like the common bedding Impatiens except it grows upright to 3 feet tall!  The cheerful orange blooms dance like butterflies nearly all year long.  This is a rare orange form of the species from the island of Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes.  It is rarely seen for sale.

Impatiens platypetala

Impatiens platypetala is a perennial species with a vertical growth habit and rigid stems.  Its tall stature puts the blooms closer to eye level than typical Impatiens.  Even without flowers it's an attractive plant, with glossy, ribbed leaves that are 3-4 inches long.  The flowers appear most months of the year for me.  The 1 inch blooms are an eye-catching shade of orange, and have a white central "eye".  Some of today's common hybrids originated from this species, and sometimes they are even called "Impatiens platypetala" incorrectly.  This is a true species, not a hybrid.

Impatiens platypetala

It needs temperatures above 40 degrees F (4C), and preferably over 55 (13C).  I have no information on how much heat it can take, but if you can grow the common New Guinea Impatiens, i believe you should be able to grow this one.  It grows great indoors in a pot.  It comes from shaded rainforests, so protect it from strong sun exposure.  Filtered sun or bright shade + morning sun keeps it happy.  Like most Impatiens, it prefers fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it's easy to grow.

Impatiens platypetala

 

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