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Turquoise Puya

Venezuela Cestrum

The rare Cestrum buxifolium was discovered in cloud forests of the Andes mountains in Venezuela.  It is an attractive bush that blooms throughout the year, with lovely purple-burgundy tubes tipped with creamy, star-shaped petals that flare outwards.  The plant is new to cultivation, and deserves to become very popular.  I don't know anyone else offering seeds of it.

Venezuela Cestrum

  Cestrum buxifolium is an evergreen shrub that grows about 6 feet tall and wide, although you may prune it to any size you wish.  Its glossy foliage is unusually small for Cestrums, resembling those of a Boxwood, hence the species name.  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

It comes from mountain forests, where the climate is mild all year, and nights are cool.  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) and 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 best in mostly-sunny conditions, but some afternoon shade might be needed in warmer climates.  It grows well in a container in well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Avoid letting it dry out completely.  The leaves and fruit of some Cestrums contain a toxin, so it's best to keep pets and small children away from the plant.

Venezuela Cestrum

 

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Germinating the seeds

 

 

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Turquoise Puya

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