Thursday, October 16, 2008
Laurentia longiflora (White Tibey)
It is also called Star of Bethlehem, is a perennial herb which forms a rosette of narrow lanceolate leaves that are thick, pubescentes and coarsely pinnatilobed.
The plant contains a poisonous milky sap, an alkaloid, which can cause burns and irritation. The flowers are long and white, on a 2 cm pubescent pedicel in a shape of a star with bearded anthers. The fruit is a pubescent capsule divided in two cells with minute light brown seeds.
Hippobroma longiflora, a native of the West Indies, is a perennial herb with poisonous milky sap. They will reach 2 feet in containers and are very showy when in bloom.
Blooming Time: Summer-Fall. The white flowers are 3½ inches long and 2 inches across.
Culture: Hippobroma longiflora will grow in part shade to full shade with a rich, well-drained soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. During the growing season, the plant should be kept moist for optimum growth. Fertilize weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, water less and do not fertilize. I recommend keeping the fruit from ripening because the plant can become very weedy in the greenhouse setting.
Propagation: Hippobroma longiflora are easily propagated from cutting or by seed. Seed germinate in 7-14 days at 65° F.