Succulent Gardening: The Art of Nature

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Cryptanthus bivittatus black

According to the Houston Bromeliad society, The name Cryptanthus is derived from the Latin word crypt meaning "hidden" and the Greek word anthos meaning "flowers". The name is not completely accurate. The small, white, stemless flowers are far from hidden; they might not be flaunted like those of a Guzmania or Aechmea, but perched in the middle of a relatively flat plant they are far from hidden. Their nickname, Earth Stars, is probably more descriptive. Most species are small monolayered plants with little leaf overlap; they look like twinkling starsCryptanthus are also known as Earth Star.
Cryptanthus can be grown in the ground as a ground cover under a tree. Cryptanthus like warmer climates but if grown under trees the protection may be enough to weather a light frost. They prefer to be kept moist. If kept in a pot, the pot should be wider than deeper as the roots like to grow out rather than down. What I have found is they form rosettes with 15-25 leaves, 2-3" long coming to a point, with a little spine. They encompass about 50 species. Cryptanthus leaves have wavy serrated edges, An abundance of water will help them grow. They require shade to light shade. Propogate through offsets. The Cryptanthus you will receive will only have 1 plant in the pot. The ones pictured are Stock plants.lants.

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