November 30th 2021
A rare blue flower from Brazil has been coaxed into bloom by horticulturists at RHS Garden Wisley for the first time ever. Currently on display in the Temperate Zone of RHS Wisley’s Glasshouse, the Worsleya procera has taken 13 years to produce its first flowers.
A relative of the familiar seasonal houseplant Amaryllis, the eye-catching Worsleya procera features vibrant purple-blue lily-like flowers above distinctive curving leaves. In its natural habitat in eastern Brazil, the bulb grows in challenging environments on steep granite cliffs, often near waterfalls, explains Glasshouse Team Leader Christopher Young, making it a tricky plant to cultivate.
“The key to successful cultivation is being able to replicate these environmental conditions and provide the plant with a very moist but free-draining growing medium,” he adds. “Our Worsleya, which has been in the Glasshouse collection since 2008, is grown in a bark and pumice mix.”
Worsleya procera is the sole species in the genus Worsleya, and is one of the rarest members of the Amaryllis family. It is sometimes referred as the Blue Amaryllis or the Empress of Brazil, and is considered endangered in its native habitat. It is rarely cultivated, and the RHS is aware of only one other flowering in a public garden in recent years.
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Source: RHS Press Release
Worsleya procera Credit: RHS