Plant of the Month for November 2019

Heloniopsis orientalis

Description and General Information:

This woodlander is native to shady, damp woodlands of Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Plants produce a basal rosette of smooth, evergreen, strap-like leaves that often take on red tints in winter.  In early sping, it produces a leafless cluster of nodding, 2-3 cm wide lavender-pink lily-like bells atop 15-30 cm tall stems.  Stems may elongate to 45 cm as seeds develop.  After flowering, plants produce a new rosette of leaves.


This species prefers part-shade and soil that is acidic, moist, highly-organic but well-drained.  Sandy-loams are ideal. It is rated hardy to zone 6.

Bloom Period:

Heloniopsis may bloom as early as March in southern areas or as late as May at the northern end of its hardiness range.


Division, seed or leaf-tip propagules


Fresh seed is essential.  They may be sown at 20 C but generally germination is poor.


Larger clumps may be dug after blooming and carefully divided


While Heloniopsis is not propagated by typical cuttings, plants sometimes develop new plantlets from their leaf tips if the tips come in contact with the soil.


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