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Turquoise Puya

Crinum graminicola

The beautiful Crinum graminicola is a rare species from South Africa that you don't see very often.  Its sweetly-scented flowers are very large, reaching 6 or 7 inches long.  These pink-striped blossoms appear throughout spring and summer atop 18 inch tall stems.  This is a lovely collector's plant that is easy to grow in the right conditions.  It is rare in cultivation, and seldom seen for sale.

Crinum graminicola

Crinum graminicola grows throughout spring and summer from its large bulb, and usually goes dormant in winter if temperatures are cool enough.  It makes low-growing, strap-like leaves that get 2 to 3 feet long.   The trumpet-shaped blossoms are white inside, and pink-striped outside.  They point outward or downward as they spill out of the scape.  The plant takes longer to reach flowering size than most Crinums, but it blooms consistently thereafter.  Like most Crinum species, it rarely multiplies by offsets, and usually reproduces only by seed.

Crinum graminicola

Crinum graminicola has handled summer temperatures in the 90s (35 degrees C).  I don't know its frost hardiness, but the dormant bulb should be hardy at least down to 25 degrees F (-4 C) if planted deep and kept relatively dry.  It is easily grown in a large pot in rich, well-draining soil that is kept lightly moist.  It can take frequent rains if grown in fast-draining soil.  It prefers full sun, except in hotter climates, where it might want some afternoon shade.  Avoid transplanting it when it nears maturity, since this will delay flowering.

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