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Telanthophora grandifolia

Huge leaves!  The name of this awesome plant is Telanthophora grandifolia, although it might as well be called Dinosaur Dinner!  This oversized relative of daisies and sunflowers certainly looks like something dinosaurs would munch on.  A native of cloud forests in southern Mexico, it can grow to 18 feet tall, with massive leaves about 2 feet long.  It's sure to add a wacky, tropical look to your garden.  It is extremely rare in cultivation, and rarely seen for sale.

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia, sometimes called the Giant Groundsel, is an evergreen plant that takes on a palm-like shape.  Here in San Francisco it grows to 18 feet tall, but you may prune it to 4 or 5 feet tall if you wish, and it will make a low, very leafy shrub.  The scalloped leaves tend to average 18-22 inches long, and can potentially grow much bigger.  The stems of the new growth have cool "stubble", with big nubs that feel soft to the touch.  In winter, and occasionally other times of the year, the plant makes massive flower clusters up to 2 feet across.  The fragrant, bright yellow clusters appear at the top of each branch, adding nice splashes of winter color and scent.

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia comes from mid-elevations in Mexico where summer temperatures can get in the mid 80s (29 degrees C).  I have no information on how much heat it can take, but it's certainly worth a try in warmer climates like Florida.  I don't know if it has much frost tolerance.  My guess is that it can take down to the mid-20s (-3 degrees C), with new growth sprouting from the base.  For best results, protect it from frost.  It likes some protection from strong afternoon.  It does not need a lot of sun to thrive.  It does need ample water.  Well-draining soil is preferred.  Over about 40-45% humidity is recommended.  This is a non-invasive species.

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

Seeds are difficult to germinate, so i offer established plants.

 

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