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Cyanotis somaliensis (Pussy Ears)

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Scientific Name

Cyanotis somaliensis C.B.Clarke

Common Names

Pussy Ears, Furry Kittens

Synonyms

Tradescantia somaliensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Commelinaceae
Subfamily: Commelinoideae
Tribe: Tradescantieae
Subtribe: Cyanotinae
Genus:
 Cyanotis

Description

Cyanotis somaliensis is an evergreen perennial up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall, related to Tradescantia, but more succulent and with greater tolerance to dry conditions. The trailing stems are almost hidden by hairy, densely ranked, lance-shaped leaves. It produces cymes of mauve flowers with prominent golden stamens.

Photo via kissyfrott.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Tradescantia is easy and you’ll find the plants to be quite resilient. They’re hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4-9 and will tolerate more than what one would expect. Tradescantia typically grow in moist, well-drained and acidic (pH 5 to 6) soil. Tradescantia plants do best in partial shade but will do equally well in sunny areas as long as the soil is kept moist.

You can grow Tradescantia indoors too as long as suitable conditions are given. Provide the plant with either a soilless mix or loam-based potting compost and keep it in bright filtered light. You should also pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.

Allow it to spend warm spring and summers days outdoors, if feasible. During its active growth, water moderately and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every four weeks. Water sparingly in winter.

These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially if you’re growing them in containers. Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and will help prevent re-seeding. Cut the stems back about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the ground… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia

Origin

Endemic to northern Somalia.

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