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Turquoise Puya

Columnea brenneri (Trichantha)

This is a close look at the rare Columnea brenneri.  This unusual African Violet relative is completely covered in soft, fuzzy hairs even the blooms are fuzzy!  Its distinctive flowers peer outward like curious caterpillars, with their nice color combination of yellow and purple.  They are followed by cool fruit that looks like lavender "eggs", as seen here.  This species was discovered in rain forests of Ecuador, where it is rare.  It is almost never seen for sale!

Columnea brenneri (Trichantha)

Columnea brenneri (formerly Trichantha brenneri) tends to have an upright growth habit, with rigid, wood-like stems that grow at a moderate pace from 1 to 2 feet tall.  Its attractive leaves have deep ribs and are nicely glossy on top.  Their undersides can vary between green with burgundy veins, all burgundy, or all green, depending on the mood of the plant.  It flowers pretty much all year for me.  The blooms are 1 inches long and have yellow or chartreuse tubes with burgundy markings.  You might be able to cross-breed it with some other Columneas to create interesting new hybrids!

Columnea brenneri (Trichantha)

It comes from tropical rain forests, where temperatures are mild to warm all year.  It grows well for me indoors with day temperatures in the mid-70s (24C) and nights in the mid-60s (18C).  It does not enjoy being below 50 F (10C) and cannot take frost.  It likes bright, filtered light, and probably will need some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It is epiphytic in the wild, but it grows fine in a loose soil mix that's kept evenly moist.  A typical soil mix is 2 parts perlite to 1 part coir fiber or peat moss.  Or use equal parts of potting soil and perlite.  Over about 50% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and long-lived plant.

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Turquoise Puya

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