Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Mitraria coccinea

 Mitraria coccinea is a gorgeous, rare species from Chile with brilliant red flowers with the texture of velvet.  The curvaceous blooms remind me of a woman's dress.  The Chileans think it looks like a little bottle, so they call it "Botellita".  The velvety, 1 inch flowers appear singly, in pairs, or in threes all over the plant.  My digital camera simply can't capture the rich, intense RED of this flower!  This is a very hard-to-find plant, and rarely seen for sale in the U.S. 

Mitraria coccinea

Photo by Stan Shebs

Mitraria is an evergreen perennial in the Gesneriad family, making it a cousin of African Violets.  This is the only species in the genus Mitraria, and it's found only in the cool rainforests of Chile.  It is happiest in temperatures below 85 degrees F with nights that are cool, and might not thrive if temperatures consistently get above that.  If you can grow Fuchsias or Clivia, you should be able to grow Mitraria.  It may be grown indoors in a cool room.  

Mitraria coccinea

Mitraria is both a creeping and climbing plant.  It can climb several feet up a fence or trellis, and it will creep along the ground for 4 to 6 feet, although it may be pruned to any size.  It is perfect for a hanging planter, where its lush foliage and vibrant blooms can be admired up close.  The plant flowers throughout most of the year for me, with the heaviest show from spring through autumn.

Mitraria coccinea

Since it comes from rain forests, it should be protected from strong afternoon sun.  Tree-filtered sunlight or morning sun + bright shade suits it well.  It reportedly is hardy down to 12-20 degrees F, but try to protect it from prolonged frosts.  It is happiest above freezing.  It prefers moist, well-draining soil that's high in organic matter and low in lime.  Over about 40% humidity is recommended. 

Mitraria coccinea

 

Check availability

 

Detailed growing tips about this plant

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2004-2014 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted