Earth Laughs in Flowers

Psychotria elata – Hot Lips

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Scientific Name

Psychotria elata (Sw.) Ham

Common Names

Hot Lips, Hot Lips Plants, Flower Lips, Hooker’s Lips, Mick Jagger’s Lips

Synonyms

Cephaelis elata (basionym), Callicocca elata, Cephaelis costaricensis, Cephaelis phoenicia, Cephaelis punicea, Evea elata, Palicourea elata, Tapogomea elata, Tapogomea punicea, Uragoga elata, Uragoga phoenicia, Uragoga punicea

Scientific Classification

Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Psychotrieae
Genus: Psychotria

Description

Psychotria elata is a tropical tree found in the rain forests of Central and South American countries. The plant has become internet-famous because of its flowers or rather the shape of the red bracts (modified leaves) before the flowers mature. From these bracts tiny white, stare-shaped flowers emerge. Sadly, deforestation is wiping this species off the Earth.

Flower

Color: White
Bloom Time: December to March

Psychotria elata - Hot Lips

How to Grow and Care

Hot Lips grows where the soil is rich and humid from leaf litter, moist and sheltered from the most powerful sun rays by upper story trees. Interior growers turn to plants from around the world to add exotic touches to the home. Hot Lips plant fits the bill but requires a tropical environment. For this reason, it is mostly a collector’s plant for much of the United States. Growing Hot Lips plants requires a heated greenhouse or solarium, high humidity and shelter from harsh solar rays. Growing Hot Lips plant means mimicking the understory tropical environment for which it is suited. Most potting soil will not have both the excellent drainage and moisture retentiveness necessary to raise these plants. Add a bit of vermiculite and peat moss before potting up the plant. Place it in an area with temperatures of at least 70ºF (21ºC), humidity of at least 60% and indirect bright lighting… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Hot Lips Plant.

Origin

Native to the rain forests of Central and South American countries like Columbia, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador.

Links

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