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Turquoise Puya

Heterocentron suffruticosum 

This plant is so rare, these might be the first photos of it on the internet!  Heterocentron suffruticosum is an attractive small shrub from Guatemala and neighboring Mexico, where it is rare.  From spring through autumn it makes delightful, 4-petaled blossoms with contrasting yellow stamens. The plant comes from a mild climate and is untested in hot conditions.  I don't think it's been offered online before.  This is the first time i have it available!

Heterocentron suffruticosum

It's an evergreen plant in the Melastome family, forming a low-growing shrub that meanders about 4 feet across and 2 feet tall.  The base turns woody with age, while the newer stems are bright red and square shaped.  The plant looks great in a hanging basket, and may also be grown in a terrarium.  The blooms are 1 inches across have four bright-red bracts, which remain after the pink petals drop.  It can bloom all year long when grown indoors!

It comes from mountain forests at about 1600-2200 foot elevation, where temperatures are mild all year, and nights are cool but frost-free.  I suspect it might not thrive if temperatures consistently get above 85F (29C) and nights are warm (above 65F / 18C).  It probably can survive a light frost, but i strongly recommend protecting it from freezing temperatures.  It enjoys filtered sunlight or morning sun.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.  It likes fertile, well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it is vigorous and easy to grow.

 

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Turquoise Puya

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