Lily Lion Heart

Sunday 2 September 2012

Lysionotus sangzhiensis

L. sangzhiensis is a beautiful Gesneriad from China. There are 25 species of Lysionotus , of which 23 come from China. China has stunning Old World Gesneriads that are beautiful houseplants, and some can be grown outdoors depending on the Zone you live in. 
I received mine as a gift from friend and nurseryman Harvey Wrightman many years ago. I decided one year a few years back, to grow it outdoors as it hardy from Zone 7-9. I am in Zone 6 but thought if I mulch it, and cover with a cloche it could work. Lo and behold it did.  I took a great risk as this Gesneriad is rare, not to mention difficult to find a source for. Every August it blooms with lovely tubular 2" long mauve flowers with beautiful purple, and pale yellow striping in the throat. It remains evergreen year round. I have decided this year (well perhaps) to grow it in pot culture in my cool greenhouse for the winter. It is slow growing and forms underground stolons. The plant comes from NW Hunan and SE Sichuan in rocks in forests c. 700-1400 m.  It likes a humusy moist soil in part shade.

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