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Turquoise Puya

Drymonia chiribogana

Drymonia chiribogana is a terrific, rare African Violet relative that deserves to become more widely grown.  Its purple flowers are certainly pretty, but its real flair is its thick, oversized leaves with excellent variegation.  The plant grows about 2 feet tall and blooms throughout the year.  This is an excellent, easy houseplant, and would make a fine show plant.  It comes from rain forests in Ecuador, where it is rare and at risk of becoming extinct.  Fresh seeds are rarely seen for sale.

Drymonia chiribogana

The plant somewhat resembles a "rubber tree" Ficus, with its large, leathery leaves and upright growth.  The leaves grow to about 5 to 8 inches long and have white veins along a velvety, dark green background (copper on the newer growth).  They have a satiny sheen that can change the leaf color depending on the viewing angle.  Blooms dangle throughout the older branches most months of the year for me.  The flowers are about 1.5 inches long, and have purple petals with yellow & red markings inside.  After flowering it makes interesting fruit that is bright yellow.

It comes from tropical hills, where the climate is mild all year.  I have only grown it indoors between 62 and 77 degrees F (17-25 C), and i don't know how well it grows outside that temperature range.  It do know it enjoys bright, filtered light.  It probably needs some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It prefers a well-draining soil mix kept evenly moist.  It is said to prefer high humidity, but it's grown well for me at 45% humidity.  In the right conditions, it's a surprisingly easy and durable plant.

Drymonia chiribogana

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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