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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens marianae

Impatiens marianae is a rarely-seen species from India with mesmerizing variegation!  Its amazing leaf pattern occurs naturally - this is not a cultivated hybrid.  Unfortunately, this is a cool-climate species that might not thrive in hot climates.  If you can provide the right environment, it's a stunning collector's plant.  It is seldom offered for sale.

Variegated Impatiens marianae

Impatiens marianae is a perennial species that trails along the ground for 2 or 3 feet, and grows to about a foot tall.  Its fuzzy stems will root wherever they touch the soil.  The 2-inch leaves are dark green along the main veins, and have a silvery-white background that shimmers.  I suspect that the bold variegation enables pollinators to see the plant in the dark forest understory where it grows.  The inch-long flowers are deep pink with yellow markings inside, and have a curved "tail".  The plant doesn't seem to flower often in cultivation, but it is a real treat when it does!

Impatiens marianae

Impatiens marianae prefers cooler, moist conditions.  It's happiest between about 50 and 75F (10-24C).  It can usually tolerate warmer conditions if nights are cool, but the combination of hot days with warm nights might stress it.  It can tolerate temperatures near freezing, but it needs protection from frost.  This species needs higher humidity to thrive - over 60% is best.  It makes a great terrarium plant if given some air circulation.  It does best in bright, filtered light, and should be protected from strong sun exposure.  Grow it in well-draining soil that's kept consistently moist.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and vigorous plant.

Impatiens marianae

Photo 2 courtesy of Diego Delso

 

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