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Turquoise Puya

Centropogon grandidentatus

This is a rare look at the colorful Centropogon grandidentatus.  From spring through fall, it's loaded with showy, red and yellow flowers that are tipped with blue pollen!  This is a super attractive shrub that comes from cool cloud forests in southern Mexico.  It is untested in warm conditions.  It's extremely rare in cultivation.  I don't know anyone else currently offering it.

Centropogon grandidentatus

It is a low-growing shrub that gets about 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall here in San Francisco.  Even without blooms it's an attractive plant, with lively foliage and reddish stems.  It blooms for about half the year, although it might bloom year-round indoors.  The curved flowers are about 2 inches long and dangle over the leaves by long stems.  These brightly-colored blooms attract hummingbirds!

Centropogon grandidentatus

Little is known about its climate tolerances, since it's new to cultivation.  Some cloud forest plants resent hot conditions combined with warm nights.  It's possible that it won't thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 F (29C) and nights are above 65F (18C).  Protection from frost is probably necessary.  It grows well for me in dappled sunlight or morning sun + bright shade.  It needs some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It grows well in a pot in well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  It might not thrive in very dry air.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and very fun plant.

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Photo #3 courtesy of Dick Culbert

 

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Turquoise Puya

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