Lily Lion Heart

Sunday, 25 September 2011

From China with Love

Petrocosmeas hail from China and most form these tight succulent basal rosettes that conjure up images of the tightest and neatest high alpines. It is a genus of the family Gesneriaceae the African violet family. Most of the species within this genus are endemic to high-altitude areas in Western China, although some are native to other parts of Asia. It generally grows on wet mossy rocks or forests of limestone in shady areas.  There are approximately 13 species, 7 of which I grow. The plants featured in this post are Petrocosmea flaccida which comes from a shaded ledge on a sandstone cliff near Mount Emei. It was previously unknown outside of China, but is now admired in Europe and North America because of its deep purple flowers. The other two species that are currently blooming are P. formosa and P. barbata.

These plants like cool shadier conditions and so most are grown under two flouresecnt tubes or in an east facing windowsill.  The flowers are floriferous and quite long-lasting. I adore this little know genus.

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