Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Cochliostema odoratissimum

Welcome to the spectacular Cochliostema odoratissimum from rain forests around Ecuador.  A green-leafed form of this plant exists, however this one has vibrant magenta leaves!  From the base of the leaves appear wildly beautiful, blue & magenta flowers, which are delightfully fragrant!  This flamboyant purple-leaf form is very hard to find, and i'm glad to finally have it available.

Cochliostema odoratissimum

It forms a large rosette of glossy leaves about 3 feet long.  It looks similar to a Bromeliad, but it's actually unrelated (Commelinaceae family).  Both sides of its fleshy leaves are magenta or bright burgundy, with small streaks of green down the middle, which is reduced in bright light.  The plant used to be known as Cochliostema jacobianum, but now it's considered a purple variety of Cochliostema odoratissimum.  Throughout the year it sends out showy flower stalks that are about a foot long.  Each panicle has numerous 2-inch flowers, which are quite complex.  They have bright magenta sepals, and violet-blue petals with frilly hairs.  There's also a tuft of yellow hairs near the center of each flower, presumably to attract pollinators.

Cochliostema odoratissimum

Even the fruits are showy!

It is easy to grow when given the right conditions.  It's a tropical species that prefers mild to warm conditions, doing fine in normal household temperatures.  It can tolerate cool nights, but it needs protection from frost.  In the wild it grows as an epiphyte in trees, but it grows fine in a pot in well-draining soil.  It doesn't require watering the "tank" of the leaves, since it has a normal root system.  The leaves get the "purplest" in very bright, filtered light, while deep shade may encourage more green.  I think it will need protection from strong afternoon sun.  It doesn't need direct sun to thrive.  Over about 50% humidity is best for this rain forest plant.

Check availability

 

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2017 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted