Here’s one for the fashionable floranista lovers out there. Nothing says power-color like orange. Orange stimulates our feelings for adventure, exoticism, and pleasure. It induces a passion for excitement. Such is the case of Juanulloa mexicana commonly referred to as simply… The Goldfinger Plant. Very James Bond wouldn’t you say? Well, here we have a tropical ‘twiner’ that definitely has the midas touch. Check out that flower! So provocative. So mysterious. The bud, a brilliant 1 1/2 – 2 inch bell-shaped calyx, inflates to a point and bursts at its seams to reveal an emphatically exciting tubular flower. Together, calyx and tube create a vibrant vision of electrical voluptuousness that both hypnotizes and arouses the senses.
Juanulloa mexicana is an evergreen/deciduous, vining, epiphytic shrub that comes to us from Central and South America. Its primary point of origin is Peru. It’s not the kind of plant you see everyday. It is mostly cultivated at Botanical Gardens and in private conservatories. However, if you, dear reader are up for it…you could grow one too. Think of this plant as summer wardrobe for the garden. The kind you could grow in a container, have outside during the warm seasons, and bring indoors in the winter. If you live in a warmer climate, you could have it outside year-round as long as you are vigilant and give it what it needs to thrive.
Juanulloa mexicana can grow up to 6 feet tall and wide. It likes full sun with midday shade or part sun conditions, well-draining, fertile soil, regular water, medium to low humidity, and is hardy down to 35 degrees fahrenheit/2 degrees celsius. It ideally thrives and remains evergreen in temperatures above 50 degrees fahrenheit/10 degrees celsius. In cooler temperatures, it tends to go deciduous until warm weather returns.
Juanulloa mexicana outfits itself in leathery luxurious leaves that shimmer with a sleek sheen. This tropical wonder is in the nightshade family and all parts are toxic if ingested so plant it responsibly. If you have a sense for adventure and dare to venture botanically into an exhilarating world of exciting exotica, find yourself some Juanulloa mexicana a.k.a. Goldfinger. Your rewards will be luxurious!