I give up. I surrender. Never have I felt so seduced by a plant before. Well, maybe, once, twice, or three times more but nonetheless I have fallen under the spell of this South American siren. Today, I present to you a world exclusive of sorts. Let me explain. What you are looking at are the super-groovy-fantabulous flowers of Ceratostema silvicola. It comes to us from the temperate cloud forests of Ecuador. It has no common name but is a relative of the Blueberry. In late winter/early spring it produces these big, plump, enticingly exotic cherry berry-like flowers with deep reddish purple spurs. The look is sweet as cherry blueberry pie. Wilder than Friday night. So seductive. So cool!
Not a lot of information is available for this amazing plant but after some serious sleuthing I've come up with some noteworthy details. Ceratostema silvicola is what I consider a 'plantasy'. It's one of those fantasy plants that sets hearts aflutter with its awesome exotica! Ceratostema silvicola is what I call a vining shrub. It sends out vining/trailing stems outfitted in lush green elliptical foliage with a somewhat pleated texture. I've seen these stems grow and drape 10 feet long through neighboring plants. The roots of this plant are stout, ropy, and like to get a bit pot bound. This is actually a good thing because it makes Ceratostema silvicola flower like mad. It thrives in a well-draining, open, and airy soil mix. Something that contains some sphagnum moss, fine bark, pumice, or expanded clay pellets. A Cymbidium orchid mix will also do. This plant likes cool, shady, humid conditions. Soil around their roots should be moist after watering and allowed to dry between waterings. It's also hardy down to around 40 degrees fahrenheit/4 degrees celsius. Ceratostema silvicola would look amazing as a hanging plant, nestled in a plantable area in the arms of a large tree, or planted at the base of a tree where it could send its stems high in an effort to drape down its super sexy lanterns of cherry blueberry lusciousness.