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Impatiens grandis - Super red form

This is a rare look at a Super-red form of Impatiens grandis.  This unusual species comes from southern India and Sri Lanka, where it is becoming endangered.  Its large, orchid-like blossoms have bold splashes of red across white petals.  Even without blooms, this is a first-rate foliage plant.  Its oversized leaves are surprisingly thick and robust, and the entire plant can grow to 5 feet tall!  I don't know anyone else offering this extra red form.

Impatiens grandis - Super red form

Impatiens grandis is a perennial species with an upright, tree-like shape and rigid stems.  The plant has a husky appearance, with little resemblance to typical Impatiens.  The blooms appear mostly around winter, with occasional blooms other times of the year.  The 2-inch tall flowers appear at the top of the plant, which puts them at the right height for viewing!  The original form of the species has markings just on the lower petals, while the super-red form has them on the upper petals too, and with lots more coverage.  It almost looks spray-painted on!  The curved spur in back of the flower is thick and well-proportioned, giving a nice finishing touch to the blooms.

Impatiens hookeriana

The plant comes from highland forests, where the climate is mild all year.  Preferred temperatures are between 50 and 80F (10-27C).  It can tolerate warmer temperatures if nights are cool (below 65F/18C), but consistently hot temperatures with warm nights might stress it.  It can go deciduous below 45F (7C), and it requires protection from freezing temperatures.  It does wonderfully indoors in a pot.  Give it bright, filtered light or morning sun + bright shade.  Protect it from strong sun exposure.  Like most Impatiens, it likes well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it's an easy plant that is rarely troubled by pests.

Impatiens hookeriana

Photos used with permission of Derick Pitman

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