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Lisianthus, often favored by floral designers when an elegant flower is needed for an arrangement, it is the epitome of a classy, versatile flower. The opulent, ruffled petals and elegant buds come in many colors. The delicate-looking blooms are known for not only their beauty, but also their ability to hold up as a cut flower in a vase for up to 2 weeks or longer.
Despite the fact that this plant goes by the name Lisianthus, there is much discussion as to whether or not it has ever been included in that genus. Lisianthus has a storied past of botanical name changes and arguments over how it came to be.
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Given the overall class and elegance these blooms exude, it's surprising that they native to ditches and grasslands in a few of the western states. Because they are accustomed to this harsh environment, they have very thick, waxy foliage to help prevent them from drying out. This also gives them a nice bluish-green cast to the foliage that accents the eye-catching blooms.
The blooms of lisianthus are truly what this plant is all about. One of the main things that sets these flowers apart from their more generic counterparts is that, they come in a range of colors: white, blue, purple, and pink as well as bicolor combinations of those hues. The colors also come in a single form, with simply one row of petals, or a double form with several rows of petals.
Lisianthus Care Must-Knows
As a cut flower, the single flowered varieties are fairly susceptible to damage in transit, especially if the blooms are already fairly open. While the double blooms are a little better off, the petals can still be damaged pretty easily, especially the white varieties. So be sure to handle them with care. When selecting blooms, make sure to pick stems that are fairly far along, but not quite fully open. Buds that are too small and tight won't open properly on their own.
When growing lisianthus, plan on investing some time in the crop. Lisianthus can take a very long time to grow from seed, sometimes as long as 15-20 months from the time of sowing to bloom. The seed of this plant is also so fine and dust-like that it also makes it hard to sow just a few plants at a time. As many of these varieties have been developed for cut flowers, some of these plants will require staking to make sure that they don't flop. More recently, there have been varieties brought to market that are dwarf and much better for a home garden setting.