Home

Strange Wonderful Things

 Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Medinilla crassata - Chandelier Plant

The exotic "Chandelier Plant" - Medinilla crassata - is a terrific discovery from the jungles of the Philippines.  My camera has a hard time capturing its luminous colors, but the lavender-blue bracts and translucent petals have all the elegance of a crystal chandelier!  For most of the year, the plant is covered with these stunning dangling clusters, which are followed by attractive berries.  This is a choice houseplant that happens to be easy to grow!  It is pretty rare, and seldom seen for sale.

Medinilla crassata - Chandelier Plant

Medinilla crassata is a compact, evergreen bush in the Melastome family.  It typically grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, although it can potentially get 6 feet tall or more.  Its glossy leaves and woody stems make this an attractive plant even without blooms.  The pendulous, 5 inch-long flower panicles can cover the plant most months of the year.  Their colorful bracts go through several shades ranging from bluish-gray to lavender, with an ethereal glow that is truly beautiful.  After flowering, bright red berries appear, which ripen to deep purple.  Sometimes this plant is incorrectly called "Medinilla alata", but the real Medinilla alata is very different according to botanical descriptions.

Medinilla crassata - Chandelier Plant

I have only grown it indoors at room temperature, so i don't know the minimum temperature it can take.  I suspect it won't like cool conditions, so use caution below about 50F (10C).  It grows well in filtered sunlight, or morning sun + bright afternoon shade.  I haven't grown it in strong afternoon sun, but i suspect it might burn from it.  It does well in a pot in a loose, well-draining medium.  A typical mix is 1 part potting soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 small bark pieces.  Keep the mix evenly moist (but not soggy) and feed it moderately.  Over about 50% humidity is best.

Medinilla crassata - Chandelier Plant

Photos used with permission of SFSU Greenhouse

 

Check availability

 

Tips for 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