Home

Strange Wonderful Things

 Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Cyrtanthus obliquus

Welcome to the magnificent Cyrtanthus obliquus from South Africa.  Rarely seen in cultivation, this Amaryllis relative sends up a dazzling stalk of large, dangling blooms in vivid colors.  Its foliage is equally impressive.  The strap-like leaves spiral as they grow upward, hence the species name obliquus.  The plant comes from a mild climate and is untested in hot conditions.  If you can provide the right conditions, it's an awesome collector's plant!

Cyrtanthus obliquus

Unlike many South African bulbs, Cyrtanthus obliquus tends to be evergreen.  The bulb grows to be the size of an orange, and is partly exposed above the soil.  The twisting leaves are bluish-green and grow about 1 feet tall.  This is the largest species in the genus Cyrtanthus.  In summer, it sends up a towering 2 foot-tall scape with around 7 to 12 blooms, each about 3 inches long.  The general color is reddish-orange, fading to yellow & green toward the flaring ends.  You may cross-breed it with some other Cyrtanthus species to create unique, new hybrids!

Cyrtanthus obliquus

It comes from a climate with moderate summers, so it might not thrive in consistently hot conditions, particularly if nights are warm.  Ideal temperatures are about 40-85 F (4-29C), with nights below 65 F (18C).  It can probably survive a light frost, but it should protected from frost.  Full sun is best, except in warmer climates, where some afternoon shade might be needed.  It grows well in a pot in a fast-draining soil mix.  A typical mix is 1 part potting soil to 3 parts perlite, pumice, or coarse horticultural sand.  It flowers best in a relatively small pot, but give it ample space while it's young so it grows up quickly.  Keep the soil evenly moist (but not soggy) during summer, and slightly drier in winter.  I find it to be easy to grow.

Cyrtanthus obliquus

A botanical print of Cyrtanthus obliquus

 

Check availability

 

Germinating the seeds

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2023 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted