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Turquoise Puya

Venezuela Cestrum

This rare Venezuelan Cestrum was discovered in cloud forests of the Andes mountains in Venezuela.  It is an attractive shrub that blooms throughout the year, with lovely purple-burgundy tubes tipped with creamy, star-shaped petals that flare outwards.  The species name is uncertain.  I don't know anyone else offering it.

Venezuela Cestrum

  The Venezuelan Cestrum is an evergreen shrub that grows about 6 feet tall and wide, although you may prune it to any size.  Its glossy foliage is unusually small for Cestrums, resembling those of a Boxwood.  The plant blooms in waves about every 2 months during the year, including winter.  The inch-long flowers emerge in large, radiating clusters at the ends of the branches.  The flower color varies depending on the season, with the winter blooms having a darker tube color and whiter petals (photos 2 & 4).  After flowering, it makes purplish-black berries that will stain your fingers purple!

Venezuelan Cestrum

This species comes from mountain forests, where the climate is mild all year, and nights are cooler.  I have no information on how much heat it can take, so consider it experimental in areas that regularly get above 85 degrees F (29C) especially if nights are warm (above 65F / 18C).  I don't know its frost tolerance.  It might only be hardy to 25-30 F (-3C).  It flowers the strongest in mostly-sunny conditions, but some afternoon shade might be needed in warmer climates.  It grows well in a container in a well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist.  Avoid letting the soil dry out completely.  The leaves and fruit of some Cestrums contain a toxin, so it's best to keep children and pets away from the plant.

Venezuela Cestrum

 

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Germinating the seeds

 

 

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