November 2010


This plant comes from Vietnam and is a member of the Gesneriaceae. The most familiar species in the family are the African Violets (Saintpaulia) and the Streptocarpus. All chiritas come from Asia, but Saintpaulias and Streptocarpuses from Africa. The tamiana is a very easy plant to grow, requiring shade and warmth, and is therefore very suitable for the living room. This particular sort has a long flowering period, so will give you a lot of pleasure throughout the year.
You can water overhead, but do not use cold water, because it will leave marks which look unsightly. They can be fed with a general houseplant feed.
The ‘Maysie’ has recently been brought onto the market and is being produced in Holland and Denmark. If you can read Dutch, you can have a look in the Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij.

Chirita tamiana 'Maysie'

This species comes from Kenya, despite its name, and is quite distinctive because of the square stems. It is a tropical species requiring reasonably warm temperatures. It is a clambering species that tends to drape over branches in shrubs. Flowers are not produced often, but are worthwhile waiting for.
It belongs to the larger nilotica group due to the constriction in the base of the flower. It is a very rare plant in cultivation and only infrequently offerred.

 

Ceropegia mozambicensis

Ceropegia mozambicensis

Many people ask me how to grow the cuttings they have ordered from my webshop. Instead of answering each customer individually by mail, I have added a page to the website with cultivation notes for the various groups I sell: Ceropegia, Epiphyllium, Hoya, Impatiens, Rhipsalis and Stapelia. These are general notes on how to treat the cuttings once they arrive and how to grow them on. It is of course not a complete manual with every exception listed, but I thought that these instructions might be helpful.

This is a really nice South-African species. It has thick fleshy roots, annual stems with large leaves that are thick and fleshy. The flowers are produced freely in clusters with only one or two flowers open at any one time which gives it a long flowering period. The stems die back to the rootstock in winter. It can be kept in dry conditions at a temperature of 5 degrees. When the new growth starts, watering can commence again. The colour of the flower can vary.

 

Ceropegia crassifolia

Ceropegia crassifolia

Since this morning, GPS numbers have been added to the Hoyas and Dischidias on my webshop. No, GPS does not mean Global Positioning System, but are my initials, Gerard Paul Shirley. They represent my collection numbers and can be used to distinguish between different clones of one species. For instance, the Hoya micrantha has three different GPS numbers, 14, 177 and 188. A different number does not necessarily mean a totally different plant, but it can mean that it comes from a different collection area or from a different collector. The micrantha GPS 177 comes from India and the GPS 188 comes from the Philippines.
All numbers under 10.000 are identical to those used by the IPPS (Institute for Protection and Propagation of Succulent plants), from 10.000 onwards they are my own numbers.
Unnames species are only known by the number, but when they receive a name, the number will stick as well so that you know it is not a different species. As in Hoya sp. GPS 8845 which is now officially Hoya paulshirleyi GPS 8845 (see previous post).