Codonanthopsis crassifolia

Codonanthopsis crassifolia

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Codonanthopsis crassifolia is part of the Gesneriaceae family and its native range is S. Mexico to S. Tropical America, Trinidad. It is described as a scrambling epiphyte which grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. This is another plant with a mutualistic relationship with ants in its natural habitat; the ants use the fibrous roots of the plant to support their ant mounds, they feed from the extra floral nectaries on the undersides of the leaves and are also responsible for seed distribution. Flowers are small, creamy-white with narrow corolla tubes, blooms usually measuring 1.5–2.5cm

Genus name comes from Codonanthe and the Greek suffix -opsis, which means ‘looking like', the name means ‘looking like Codonanthe’, which is appropriate since this species was once in the genus Codonanthe. The Greek kodon means ‘bell’ and anthe, which means ‘flower’; referring to the bell-shaped form of the flowers. The specific epithet comes from the Latin crassus meaning solid, thick, or coars; this is likely in reference to the thickness of the leaves.

Hanging pot: ø 14cm.

Foliage: Approximately 30cm in length.

Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive.

Water: Allow the first 2-3 inches of mix to dry out. Before watering, ensure the substrate isn’t compacted, if it is, aerate it with a few pokes of a skewer or blunt stick, pour water slowly over the top and allow the water to pass through the drainage holes.

Potting mix: A well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, pine bark and worm castings. You could also amend with some sphagnum moss and horticultural charcoal.

Fertilising: Feed your plant every watering is recommended by the Gesneriad Society, you can dilute the fertiliser to half or one quarter of the recommended strength. Once a month, flush the soil with water to prevent build up of salts.

Temperature: Ideally daytime temperatures of 18-23°C, nighttime temperatures no lower than 12°C.

Humidity: Codonanthopsis do better in higher humidity but do well to adapt to average home humidity. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a watered pebble tray or using a humidifier.

Codonanthopsis are non-toxic.