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Turquoise Puya

Parrot's Beak

Parrot's Beak (Clianthus puniceus) puts on a spectacular show of exotic blooms that look like tropical bird bills!  Throughout spring, it's covered with big, bright-pink blossoms that dangle like earrings from pretty, fern-like foliage.  The plant attracts hummingbirds, as well as children, who like to feel the thick, waxy blooms resembling pink flamingos!  Unfortunately this is an endangered species that is close to extinction in its homeland of New Zealand.

Clianthus puniceus

Parrot's Beak is an evergreen bush with arching branches to about 3 feet long.  The 3-inch blossoms appear in dense clusters of about 1 to 2 dozen blooms.  They mostly appear in Spring, but sometimes other times of the year too.  The plant does best with temperatures above freezing, although it reportedly can take a light frost.  In colder areas, simply grow it in a pot and move it indoors for the winter, pruning it to any size that's convenient.  It prefers mostly sunny conditions, although some afternoon shade may be needed in warmer areas.  It seems to be happiest below about 85 degrees (29C) and might decline in consistently hot conditions, especially if nights are warm.  Give it well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist.  In the right conditions, it is easy and vigorous.

Parrot's Beak Clianthus

Clianthus puniceus

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