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Turquoise Puya

"What a crazy plant!"

"Parrot Impatiens" - Impatiens niamniamensis

All year long, the Parrot Impatiens puts out playful, cornucopia-shaped blooms that always get people talking.  Its unusual flowers dangle happily all over the plant, like little tropical birds!  This is definitely one of nature's more whimsical creations.  The Parrot Impatiens is a rare and much sought-after tropical that happens to be easy to grow!  Freshly-picked seeds are rarely seen for sale.

"Parrot Impatiens" - Impatiens niamniamensis

The Parrot Impatiens (Impatiens niamniamensis) is also known as the "Congo Cockatoo".  It's a perennial species from tropical Africa that typically grows 2 to 3 feet tall, but it has grown 4 feet tall for me.  It has a handsome "bonsai tree" look, thanks to its stocky growth and brown stems that resemble wood.  The stems are actually succulent and flexible, like other Impatiens.  The big attraction of course are the bright, shrimp-shaped blooms, which appear almost constantly throughout the year!  The large, 1 inch blooms are scarlet red and yellow, with a lime green hood.  The red almost looks brushed on with paint.  These exotic blooms emerge from all over the plant, even on the "old wood".  You won't believe how many flowers this plant puts out!  Kip in Ohio says, "Your photos don't do the plant justice - the blooms are amazing!"

"Parrot Impatiens" - Impatiens niamniamensis

The Parrot Impatiens is happiest between about 50 and 80 degrees F (10-27C).  It can tolerate warmer conditions if nights are cool (hot days with warm nights might stress it).  It can survive down to about 35F (2C), but it cannot take any frost.  Fortunately it grows well indoors in a pot, making a wonderful, upbeat houseplant!  It prefers bright shade or filtered sunlight - protect it from strong afternoon sun exposure.  Like most Impatiens, it enjoys moist, well-draining soil, regular feeding, and at least about 40% humidity.  In the right conditions, it is an easy, low-maintenance plant.

Impatiens niamniamensis - "Congo Cuckatoo"

 

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