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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens usambarensis

This is probably the first time you have seen this plant.  Impatiens usambarensis is a rare species from east Africa with screamin' pink flowers!  It is related to the common bedding Impatiens, however it grows much larger - up to 6 feet tall!  This beauty is found only in a small section of Tanzania, in the rainforests of the Usambara mountains, for which it is named.  It is an easy and very attractive plant that is almost never seen for sale.

Impatiens usambarensis

Impatiens usambarensis is a vigorous perennial species with an upright, bush-like growth habit.  The branches and leaf stems are an attractive shade of red.  The plant flowers practically all year for me.  The blooms are 2 inches across and are an intense shade of fuchsia or hot pink that is difficult to capture in pictures.  This is a true species, not a cultivated hybrid.  You may be able to cross-breed it with some other Impatiens to create interesting new hybrids!

Impatiens usambarensis

Impatiens usambarensis comes from a climate that is mild all year, with nights that are cool.  It is untested in warmer climates like Florida, but my guess is it should do fine wherever the common Impatiens walleriana is grown, since they come from similar areas in Africa.  Still, consider experimental in hot conditions, particularly if nights are warm.  It probably can survive a light, brief frost since it can grow back from the base, but i recommend keeping it from freezing.  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.

Impatiens usambarensis

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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