May 5, 2011

Chrysothemis from a mixed seed packet

by Donna Beverin

My Chrysothemis - I think pulchella with a bronzy hue - blooms every year. I started it from seed fund package of mixed gesneriad seeds 4 years ago. I rejoined The Gesneriad Society after a hiatus being just too busy working my full time job. I was excited to receive the magazine and seeds in the mail. The seedling grew into a big tuber that I lost track of while it rests from late fall to spring.

It was living in a pot with a jewel orchid and the Chrysothemis pulchella would rest in the winter while jewel orchid would bloom on my southeast windowsill. I really did not take much care of this plant and was pleasantly surprised every year when it showed up again in the jewel orchid pot which summers on my deck. This winter, the pot fell and in order to save the jewel orchid I had to repot the Chrysothemis and the jewel orchid into separate pots. The tuber was dormant when the pot fell so I let it rest and potted the tuber when I saw a tiny bit of new life sprouting.

So now, Chrysothemis is growing quickly in my front window supplemented with fluorescent tubes. This year the leaves look a lot darker since starting inside.

I shall put it on the deck when weather balances out for its summer cycle. I may eventually repot them up together again since they were so happy in their symbiotic relationship which happened by pure accident. Chrysothemis is native to Central America and you can see more photographs and an antique print at The Gesneriad Reference Web.

Donna Beverin