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Turquoise Puya

Brugmansia vulcanicola

This is a rare look at the beautiful Brugmansia vulcanicola.  This form was recently discovered in central Ecuador, where it is close to extinction.  Its blooms have an unusual shape, and striking, reddish-orange coloration that lightens as the flowers mature.  The plant comes from cool mountains, and unfortunately it resents warm climates.  If you can provide the right conditions, you'll find it easy to grow this "holy grail" of Brugmansias!

Brugmansia vulcanicola

 The tree grows about 10 feet tall here in San Francisco. Its leaves are smaller than the related Brugmansia sanguinea, and the blooms are more slender and point outwards instead of down.  The flowers are typically 7 to 9 inches long, and have a lighter colored interior.  The blooms are unscented - but their beautiful color & shape more than makes up for it!  This species was previously known only from Colombia, so it was a surprise to find it growing in Ecuador.  It may be cross-bred with Brugmansia sanguinea, B. arborea, and B. x flava, to create exciting new hybrids!

Brugmansia vulcanicola - Zunac, Ecuador

This Brugmansia is happiest with temperatures below the low 80s (28C), and nights that are cool (below 65F / 18C).  It might not thrive in consistently hot conditions, particularly if nights are warm.  It can probably survive a few degrees of frost, but i recommend protecting it from freezing temperatures.  It grows best in partly-sunny conditions, with some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It like well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist, but it does not appreciate soggy soil.  Use extra perlite or coarse sand in your soil mix if growing in high rainfall areas.  Over about 40% humidity is best.

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Germinating the seeds

 

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Turquoise Puya

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