Saturday, March 26, 2016

Who needs flowers?

Primulina yungfuensis grown by Drew Norris, Picture by Jim Roberts

Who needs flowers?

            Primulina yungfuensis is a distinctively different Asian Violet.  It has patterned variegation that makes it stand out.  So far it has only been shown in Gesneriad flower shows by hobbyists who are lucky enough to have one.

            I had speculated that it should be spread far and wide even before I had one.  I have about 20 small plants now from leaves shared by Arlene Dewell, Jim Roberts and Drew Norris.

            The leaves rooted quickly and produced multiple plantlets.  The patterned foliage shows immediately making interesting leaves at any size.

            This Primulina species could be a commercial foliage plant, unless it has some fatal flaw that is not apparent yet.

            From the show plants, we know that it can be grown as a specimen with many leaves before it flowers.  It can be a houseplant for your windowsill equivalent to Calathea, Agleonema or Dieffenbachia which are grown for their foliage. Maybe a more believable comparison is to the decorative foliage of a mini Cyclamen before it is covered by flowers.   Asian Violets survive drought without harm, take sun or shade and can tolerate hot or cold.

            We will need a variety name for this species if there is any hope of it being talked about.  Primulina yungfuensis will never flow off your tongue.  What should it be?

            Eventually the blue flowers will show up.  But we don’t need them for Primulina yungfuensis to be a successful indoor plant.


  1. Primulina yungfuensis could be a stand-alone commercial plant. The limiting factor now is there is no supply. Within this year I should have a few hundred to test the market is see if indoor gardeners like it as much as you do.