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Impatiens morsei

Welcome to one of my favorite plants!  Impatiens morsei is a rare beauty from China with gorgeous, pink-striped foliage and unusual blooms that sort of resemble sea creatures.  This species is found only in a small section of Southern China, where it is becoming endangered.  It is rarely seen for sale.  Fortunately it happens to be easy to grow!

Impatiens morsei

Impatiens morsei is a perennial species with an upright, tree-like shape to about 2 feet tall.  It's worth growing just for the leaves, with their velvety, deep-green top surface, and purplish-red undersides.  The leaves have a satiny sheen which, when viewed from certain angles, can appear almost black!  And to top it off, the sexy pink stripe down each leaf grabs attention from across the room.  It flowers practically all year long for me.  These inflated 2-inch blossoms are decorated with bright orange and yellow markings to attract pollinators.  This is a true species, not a cultivated hybrid.

Impatiens morsei

Impatiens morsei

It is found in the highlands of Guangxi, China, where temperatures are mild year-round.  The plant should be grown in at least 50 degrees F (10 C) and above 40% humidity.  I have no information on how much heat it can take, but i suspect it may not thrive if temperatures are consistently above 85F (30C), especially if nights are warm (over 64F / 17C).  It prefers bright, filtered light.  Some weak sunlight is fine, but protect it from strong sun.  Like other Impatiens, it enjoys fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  In the right conditions, it is an easy, low-maintenance plant.

Impatiens morsei

 

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