Impatiens flanaganae

Leo A. Martin
Mon, 22 Jul 2013 08:44:01 PDT
Arnold asked me

> I've been meaning to write about a similar problem
> I'm having. I got one of the tubers of Impatiens
> flanaganae and have been struggling to grow it.
> I've tried in the greenhouse under shade cloth,
> outside in the shade. No luck.
> Do I really need an air conditioned greenhouse
> to grow this.

I've never grown this plant. I went looking for information; the best I found was this:…

Paul Shirley appears to be located in the Netherlands, and he says of this plant, "...
it can also be grown in a cool greenhouse." When I was in the Netherlands I thought it
was always cool, though I was only there for three weeks one June. No wonder the Dutch
traders went far away to the tropics.

It comes from the mouth of the St. John's River in Natal, South Africa. I can't find
this river name in any search engine, but there is a city called Port St. John's in
Natal, South Africa, on the mouth of what is called the Mzimvubu River or Umzimvubu
River. I am guessing this might be what was once called the St. John's River and it has
been scrubbed from history, the way some Pharaohs erased the names of their

Port St. John's is at approximately 30 degrees south latitude, similar to Coffs Harbour,
Australia (south of Brisbane on the east coast.) 30 degrees north corresponds to places
like Jacksonville, Florida, USA and Shanghai, China.

The climate would be subtropical, never really hot but not cool in summer, and very
humid all year, especially if it grows in the understory of forest. I wouldn't expect it
to be cool except in winter. Rain falls mainly in summer. And being an understory plant
maybe it would tolerate light levels inside a house near a window; many people's houses
are cooler than their greenhouses or even the outdoors in summer.

Maybe somebody on the list from South Africa can elaborate on the climate at Port St.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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