Earth star

Cryptanthus commonly called Earth star comes from the Bromeliacea family and originates from the subtropics of Central and South America.

Cryptanthus thrives well in desert regions as it can absorb water and has adapted well as a potted plant.  It can also be planted in an open garden gracing the garden floor with its rich colours as well as in rock gardens.  The leaves of this exotic beauty resemble a starfish and have a layered effect. There are roughly six of these leaves with pointed tips, and each layer is slightly shorter than the one beneath it.

Cryptanthus can also form a rosette in the centre and produces tiny white flowers. The plant usually has two main solid coloured stripes such as purple and pink, light pink and dark pink, black and grey, zebra like, etc, and these are quite eye catching.

20130630Garden (Peggy Chin)Cryptanthus needs minimum care.  Water once weekly and feed with Osmocote Slow Release Fertilizer once per month.  It likes adequate sunlight and grows well in sandy soil and between rocks. The mother plant gives off young plants which are called pups.

Until next week, happy gardening!

More in Features, Sunday

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