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Turquoise Puya

Bomarea sp. - Small red flowers

This beautiful vine is an unknown species of Bomarea from the Andes mountains.  Bomareas are closely related to Alstroemeria, the "Peruvian Lily" seen in floral arrangements.  Most of the 300 species of Bomarea are rarely seen in cultivation and hard to find.  This particular vine makes striking clusters of scarlet, bell-shaped flowers all throughout the year.  It is a cool-climate plant that is untested in hot conditions.  I don't know anyone else currently offering it.

Bomarea sp. - Small red flowers

The vine is evergreen, with long shoots that emerge from tubers.  The attractive shoots grow 10 to 15 feet long, although they may be wrapped around a trellis if they get too tall.  The plant blooms practically non-stop all year, and is a magnet for hummingbirds.  Each flower cluster has from 10 to 40 blooms, and a mature vine can have over a dozen clusters open at a time.  The red petals are orange on the inside, and have light blue anthers.  The inch-long blooms tend to face outward, unlike most Bomareas, which point downward.  I suspect this is because the species comes from a less rainier climate.

Bomarea sp. - Small red flowers

Unfortunately i don't know the climate tolerances of this plant.  Most Bomareas come from cloud forests of the Andes mountains, where temperatures are mild and nights are cool.  Most of them don't thrive in hot conditions, especially if nights are warm.  It's possible that this plant will not perform well if temperatures consistently get above 85 degrees F (30 degrees C) and nights are warm.  The foliage may be killed by frost, but the tubers should be hardy to at least 25 degrees F (-4 C).  You may grow it indoors in a 5 gallon (20 liter) container.

Bomarea sp. - Small red flowers

The vine prefers part sunlight, with some protection from strong afternoon sun.  Give it something to twine itself around, like a trellis.  If the shoots grow too tall, don't cut them - wrap them down and around the trellis.  The plant likes rich, well-draining soil that is kept moist.  Over about 40% is recommended for this cloud forest plant.

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Turquoise Puya

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