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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens gomphophylla

Here's another great Impatiens you won't find in the nurseries.  Impatiens gomphophylla is a rare species with bizarre flowers shaped like little tropical seahorses!  These glossy blooms are wonderfully colored in a sunset theme of red, orange and yellow.  It blooms practically all year, and is usually loaded with blooms!  The plant comes from cool highlands in southeast Africa, and unfortunately it doesn't like high heat.  If you can provide the right conditions, it's a fantastic collector's plant that is almost never seen for sale.  This is the first time i have it available.

Impatiens gomphophylla

Photo courtesy of Derick Pitman

Impatiens gomphophylla is a perennial species that grows from 3 to 5 feet tall.  It has a slender, upright appearance with minimal branching, unless you prune the top, which encourages side shoots.  This is a tuberous species, and the tuber should survive down to at least 25 degrees F (-4C) if well mulched.  The flowers are a bit over an inch long, and are crested like an ancient Greek helmet.  This is a true species, not a cultivated hybrid.  You might be able to cross-breed it with certain other Impatiens, to create interesting new hybrids.

Impatiens gomphophylla

It seems to do best in temperatures between 45 and 85 F (7-29C), with nights below 65F (18C).  The tuber reportedly can go dormant in hot weather, but consider it experimental in hot conditions, especially if nights are warm.  It comes from open grassland, so it appreciates lots of light, and flowers best with at least a few hours of direct sun.  In warmer climates, it will probably need filtered afternoon sun.  Like most Impatiens, it prefers fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  It's easy to grow if given the right conditions.

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Tips on germinating the seeds

 

 

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Turquoise Puya

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