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Osbeckia crinita

In the hills of south China, home of the Giant Panda, lives the rare Osbeckia crinita.  This magnificent plant is new to cultivation and doesn't have a common name, so i am calling it the Chinese Princess Flower.  It's an herbaceous perennial with vivid magenta flowers accented by flowing, bright yellow stamens.  Even the foliage is attractive, giving this plant much horticultural potential.  It is extremely hard to find I don't know anyone else currently offering it.

Osbeckia crinita

Osbeckia grows 3 to 4 feet tall, and about as wide.  Like many plants in the Melastome family, the leaves have attractive, lengthwise veins.  The 2" flowers make their appearance in the summertime.  The blooms form in clusters at the end of each stem.  Each ovary is covered in soft, fuzzy hairs.  The plant tends to die back to the ground in the winter, although it might stay evergreen if grown in a greenhouse. 

Osbeckia crinita

Little is known about Osbeckia, but my understanding is that it comes from areas where temperatures are mild year-round.  In California it has handled temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s, but with cool nights.  I'm not sure if it can handle warm days if nights are also warm.  Consider it experimental in areas like the South.  It has taken temps in the upper 20s, and can probably survive down to the low 20s, since it lives underground in the winter.  It seems to prefer a sunny spot that gets some afternoon shade, although you can test it in sunnier or shadier areas.  It enjoys moist, well draining soil that is rich in humus.  Since it comes from a monsoon climate, it likes regular watering during the growing season, and relative dryness in winter.     

Osbeckia crinita

 

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