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Turquoise Puya

Stenospermation mathewsii

This is a rare look at the sensational Stenospermation mathewsii.  This unusual relative of Monsteras & Philodendrons was found in the rain forests of northern Ecuador.  Its attractive foliage and inflorescence makes it an excellent houseplant that is easy to grow.  Stenospermation plants are rarely seen in cultivation, even in botanical gardens.  I don't know anyone offering this one.

It grows to about 3 feet tall, with an upright growth habit and rigid stems.  It grows at a moderate pace, making several branches on its way up.  Its thick, satiny leaves are 5-6 inches long, and are densely spaced along the stem, even in dimmer light.  The plant flowers throughout the year for me.  The flower stem usually arches over to display the cluster upside down.  Its cream-colored spathe is 3 inches long and is cupped around the spadix, probably to protect it from rain.  It is lightly fragrant, sort of like sesame seeds in my opinion.

Stenospermation mathewsii

It comes from mid-elevations in Ecuador, where temperatures are mild to warm year-round.  It grows well for me indoors between 60 and 80 degrees F (16-27C).  I haven't tried it outside that temperature range, but i suspect it won't like cold temps and can't take frost.  This forest plant enjoys bright, filtered light, and might need protection from strong sun.  Give it a loose, well-draining soil mix.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil, 1 part small bark pieces, and 1 part perlite or pumice.  Keep the soil evenly moist most of the time.  I find that it's easy and low-maintenance.

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Turquoise Puya

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