Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chirita micromusa

This transient beauty lives, flowers and dies in a matter of weeks.

A Thai gesneriad (African violet family) that produces just 1 large leaf, sometimes followed by a couple of small terminal leaves. Like all Dicotyledons, it started life with 2 small leaves from seeds, but environmental factors (notably gravity) favours one of the leaves which enlarged and droop down wet steep slopes in its habitat. In cultivation, the large leaf will rot from the bottom tip if it touches a wet surface so this growth pattern may be to prevent this - the leaf that faces the steep slope will likely touch the substrate.

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