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Turquoise Puya

Lachenalia viridiflora - "Turquoise Hyacinth"

Turquoise is an extremely rare color in the plant world, seen in only a handful of flowers.  Lachenalia viridiflora - the "Turquoise Hyacinth" - is a rare bulb with luminous, mint-blue flowers!  As if the exquisite color wasn't enough, many of the plants have terrific spotted leaves!  This is an endangered species that is almost gone in its homeland of South Africa.  Despite being rare and hard to find, it happens to be easy to grow!  Flowering-sized bulbs are rarely seen for sale.

Lachenalia viridiflora - "Turquoise Hyacinth"

Lachenalia viridiflora is a Hyacinth relative that grows during winter and is dormant in summer.  It usually forms 2 succulent leaves, each about 5 inches long.  About half of my plants have purplish spots on the leaves, which are are actually raised bumps.  The plants with spotted leaves also have spots on the flower stems!  Around late November or December the flower stalk appears, which is about 3 to 5 inches tall.  The flowers have multiple hues, but the general color could be described as sky blue with an emerald tint.  They almost seem to glow with their own light!  The blooms are surprisingly long-lasting.  This species is found on a tiny parcel of land near the coast of the Western Cape in South Africa.  The expansion of housing has brought the plant very close to extinction.

Lachenalia viridiflora - "Turquoise Hyacinth"

The turquoise Lachenalia is easy to grow, provided that its basic needs are met.  During the winter growing period, it prefers temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees F (10-22 degrees C).  Warmer temperatures in winter may make the plants lanky, and hot temperatures or warm nights might stress them.  The bulbs are easily grown in pots, and they will multiply readily!  They look best when grown close together, and do not mind being crowded.  They prefer mostly sunny conditions throughout winter & spring.  Some afternoon shade may be needed in warmer, lower latitudes such as Florida, while full sun is best in the higher latitudes.  The soil should be well draining and low in fertilizer.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts pumice rock or perlite, and 1 part horticultural sand.  Keep the soil consistently moist (but not soggy) during the growing season, and dry during the summer dormant period.  Protect the plants from freezing temperatures.

Lachenalia viridiflora - "Turquoise Hyacinth"

 

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Turquoise Puya

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