Tuesday, December 20, 2011
While I took this picture in October, right now this plant doesn't look too much different. I think I first came accross a mention of this plant in an article by Otto Schartz about the Alpine House at Jena in the AGS bulletin in 1974 - I can't remember what name it was under at the time. Since then it got moved under C. purpurascens and is now back as a species in it's own right.
I have a number of plants, one I bought as a tuber and some others I grew from seed - they are virtually identical but then I think they possibly came from the same original source.
The 1974 article described the single tuber in the Alpine House as being very slow growing and self sterile, grown in complete shade. I think there may have been a comment about it also being the slowest to flower from seed.
I think I got mine to flower from seed in about 18 months which made it one of the fastest to flower - I also got it to set seed from a single plant. I find it quite likes sun (as does C. purpurascens - sometimes).
Bearing in mind it can be rash to talk about a plant based on a single specimen, or single clone or even several collections, the plants I have apart from having the characteristic horny toothed leaf margins comes over as a more succulent, chunky version of C. purpurascens - uncannily paralleling the relationship between C. mirabile and C. cilicium and to a lesser extent C. africanum and C. hederifolium.
If anything it seems in the alpine house at least easier and more consitent than C. purpurascens - it also tends to flower later and with a more concentrated display. In my plants the fragrence is like that of it's relative - but much weaker.