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Turquoise Puya

Medinilla sp. 

Most of the 360 species of Medinilla are very ornamental plants, so it's surprising that only a handful of them are found in cultivation.  This rare Big Fruited Medinilla is unusual because it flowers along the main stems, instead of from panicles on the branches, like most Medinillas.  It's similar to my Madagascar Medinilla, except the fruits are huge and showy.  In fact, at 2 cm long, they might be the largest in the genus.  The species name of this striking plant is unknown.  I've never seen it sold before.

Medinilla sp. Big Fruit

 The plant is an evergreen shrub, probably from Madagascar rainforests, but possibly from the Philippines or elsewhere.  It probably grows as an epiphyte on trees in the wild.  It grows to about 2 feet tall, with woody stems and large, leathery leaves that give the plant a very attractive look.  Throughout the year, it puts out clusters of blooms at various points along the branches.  The blooms have 4 bright pink petals above a red base.  The base swells after pollination into a large, watery fruit.  I don't know if it's edible.  The plant usually has at least a few fruits on it all year long.

Medinilla sp.

It grows well between 60 and 85 degrees F (15-29 degrees C).  I have no information how it will do outside that temperature range.  It probably will need to be grown indoors in winter, except in Zones 10 or above.  It is easy to grow in a pot in a loose medium.  A typical mix is 1 part potting soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part fine-grade orchid bark.  Or use equal parts of coir fiber, perlite, and fine-grade bark.  Keep the soil evenly moist, and give average feedings.  It enjoys filtered sunlight.  It might need some protection from strong afternoon sun.  Over 60% humidity is recommended.

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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