Crossandra infundibuliformis (kro-SAN-druh in-fun-dih-bew-LEE-for-mis)
Crossandras are tropical, evergreen, shrubby plants that have
oval, deep green leaves that are about 2 inches long. They are
popular for their compact spikes of funnel-shaped flowers. Plant
size ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet, depending on the variety.
Crossandra blossoms come in hues of salmon, coral, apricot and
Crossandras will begin flowering when the plants are only a few
months old. They will bloom continuously for several months.
Crossandras generally are available from late winter through
autumn—March through November.
AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Bright, indirect light
is best for Crossandra plants that are displayed indoors. Flower
development is dependent on light intensity. Flowers will
develop only when the light intensity is 2,000 foot-candles or
higher. The plant will remain vegetative when the light
intensity is below 1,800 foot-candles.
WATER Crossandra plants
should be kept evenly moist. Overwatering or underwatering can
cause bud drop. Do not allow the plant to wilt. Water in the
early part of the day, and avoid standing water on the foliage.
TEMPERATURE Crossandras are
sensitive to cold. They will do best if night temperatures are
maintained at 65 F to 75 F and day temperatures average 75 F. Do
not refrigerate the plants. If temperatures drop below 45 F, the
foliage will turn black and drop.
HUMIDITY Crossandras need
frequent misting and high humidity.
fertilized plants are more tolerant of insect attacks. Be sure
plants are well watered before applying fertilizer.
SOIL These plants do best in
a potting mix that has equal parts of loam, peat moss and sand.
GROOMING Pinch Crossandras
to encourage branching and shape. Cut the plants back when they
have finished flowering to remove straggly branches and faded
flowers. Trimming also will stimulate new, healthy growth and
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY The
flowers drop when exposed to ethylene gas. Make sure your plants
have been treated with an anti-ethylene agent at the grower
level or during transportation.
BLOOMS Purchase plants with
30 percent to 50 percent of the flowers open. Remove faded
florets on the stems. Don’t accept plants that show signs of
wilt, rot, mold or yellowing.
FOLIAGE Plants should have
glossy, deep green foliage.
PESTS Several insects may
infest these plants. Check frequently for aphids, spider mites
MEANING ”Crossandra” is
Greek for “fringed anthers.” “Infundibuliformis” refers to the
funnel form of the flowers.
FAMILY Crossandras are
members of the Acanthaceae family and are related to Aphelandras
(zebra plants), Fittonias (nerve plants) and Hypoesteses
(polka-dot plants), among others.
ORIGINS The plants are
native to Southern India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Arabian
Peninsula, tropical Africa and Madagascar.
Some information provided by:
SAF’s Flower & Plant Care manual.
You may reach “Blooming Plant of the Month” writer Steven W.
Brown, AIFD, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
Images courtesy of The John Henry Company
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