Plant of the Month for November 2019

Heloniopsis orientalis
Heloniopsis orientalis

Description and General Information:

This woodlander is native to shady, damp woodlands of Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Plants produce a basal rosette of smooth, evergreen, strap-like leaves that often take on red tints in winter.  In early sping, it produces a leafless cluster of nodding, 2-3 cm wide lavender-pink lily-like bells atop 15-30 cm tall stems.  Stems may elongate to 45 cm as seeds develop.  After flowering, plants produce a new rosette of leaves.

Cultivation:

This species prefers part-shade and soil that is acidic, moist, highly-organic but well-drained.  Sandy-loams are ideal. It is rated hardy to zone 6.

Bloom Period:

Heloniopsis may bloom as early as March in southern areas or as late as May at the northern end of its hardiness range.

Propagation:

Division, seed or leaf-tip propagules

Seeds:

Fresh seed is essential.  They may be sown at 20 C but generally germination is poor.

Division:

Larger clumps may be dug after blooming and carefully divided

Cuttings:

While Heloniopsis is not propagated by typical cuttings, plants sometimes develop new plantlets from their leaf tips if the tips come in contact with the soil.

 

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