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Turquoise Puya

Rumfordia penninervis

It's likely that you've never heard of Rumfordia penninervis.  This terrific bush is new to cultivation and probably isn't available anywhere else.  It comes from the mountains of southern Mexico, where it is rare.  It doesn't have a common name, so i am calling it the "Mexican Daisy Bush".  Each winter, this Daisy & Sunflower relative lights up with big clusters of bright yellow blooms.  The plant comes from a cool climate and is untested in warm climates.

Rumfordia penninervis

Rumfordia grows 10 to 15 feet tall, with attractive, jointed stems that resemble bamboo.  You may prune the plant to any height that is convenient.  The blooms appear from November through February, when most other plants are lacking color.  Each flower cluster typically has from 1 to 5 dozen blooms, each about an inch across and with 8 to 12 petals.  The orange centers add a nice highlight, and are a favorite of honey bees.

Rumfordia penninervis

Rumfordia comes from mountain cloud forests of Chiapas in Mexico, where daytime temperatures are usually in the 60s and 70s, and nights are cool but frost-free.  It's possible that the plant might not thrive if temperatures consistently get above the low-80s, especially if nights are warm.  It probably can survive a few degrees of frost, but since it flowers in winter, i recommend protecting it from freezing temperatures.  It is easy to grow indoors in a pot.  It likes well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist.  Like many cloud forest plants, it prefers filtered sun, or morning sun + bright shade.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.  Over about 50% humidity is recommended.

Rumfordia penninervis

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Turquoise Puya

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