Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Impatiens cinnabarina

Here's another gem that you probably haven't seen before, since it is new to cultivation.  Impatiens cinnabarina is a terrific, rare species found in only one spot on Earth - a tiny section of rainforest in Tanzania, in east Africa.  It's unusual for several reasons, including the fact that it forms underground tubers.  It also has outstanding foliage!  Its thick, ribbed leaves have a silky sheen that makes them look like dark-green satin.  They create a great backdrop for the luminous blooms, which appear all year.  Their color is a divine shade of peachy-orange that is difficult to capture in photos.  This is a first-rate plant that deserves to become very popular.

Impatiens cinnabarina

Impatiens cinnabarina is a perennial species that forms small, potato-shaped tubers.  The tubers help the plant survive during the dry season in Africa, allowing it to grow where other Impatiens can't.  The plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall, with upright, rigid branches that become almost woody with age.  The paddle-shaped leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and can range in color from olive-green to a deep forest green, depending on the lighting and possibly the temperature.  Their satiny sheen looks great from all angles.  The flowers appear almost constantly all year for me!  The 1 inch blooms emerge from the tops of the branches in clusters of 3 to 5, opening one or two at a time.  When the flowers are in the male stage, they release bright purple pollen, which coats the leaves with purple dust!  This is a true species, not a cultivated hybrid.  It may be cross-bred with a few other Impatiens species to create new and unique hybrids!

Impatiens cinnabarina

Impatiens cinnabarina grows in rainforests at about 1000 feet elevation.  Temperatures there get in the low 80s (28 degrees C) during the day, and down to 60 degrees F (15C) at night.  The plant is untested in warmer climates, but my guess is it should do well wherever the common Impatiens walleriana is grown, since they come from similar areas.  It can tolerate temperatures in the 40s (6 degrees C), but will start to lose its leaves.  The tubers might be able to survive some frost, but i recommend growing the plant above 50 degrees F (10C).

Impatiens cinnabarina

The wood-like stems

It is easy to grow indoors.  Give it a well-draining soil mix, such as equal parts of potting soil and perlite or coarse sand.  Like most Impatiens, it likes bright shade or filtered sun, although it is reported to grow in considerable sun in the wild.  It prefers moist soil and regular feeding, just like other Impatiens.  Over about 40% humidity is recommended.

Check availability

 

Germination tips for this plant

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2017 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted