Lookin' Like Lemon Louis Vuitton - Calceolaria tomentosa

|Calceolaria tomentosa floral profile|

|Calceolaria tomentosa floral profile|

When it comes to flowers that are freaky-deaky-funky-cool, the Plant Provocateur can't seem to get enough!  Are you seeing what I'm seeing?  Are you turning on your heart light?  'Cuz it looks like the color lemon has gone extraterrestrial.  All the way from Peru comes the perennial known as Calceolaria tomentosa.  It is commonly referred to as Lady's Purse, Pocketbook Flower, Slipper Flower, or Slipperwort.  I need this growing in my garden!  Calceolaria tomentosa tends to thrive in shade, part-shade, morning sun/afternoon shade situations where its lemony luminescent flowers can light up the night, so to speak.

|Calceolaria tomentosa foliage + bud|

|Calceolaria tomentosa foliage + bud|

Calceolaria tomentosa has got some serious plant class.  Even though it tends to ramble and roam like a vine or ground cover, something about its velvety perfoliate foliage (leaf base is united around its stems) and downy flower buds give it a lusciously luxe look.

|Calceolaria tomentosa form + flower detail|

|Calceolaria tomentosa form + flower detail|

Once Calceolaria tomentosa gets growing, it really kicks its beauty into high gear when it produces its 2" otherworldly opulent flowers of flare!  Blooming can occur most of the year but really pops late spring through autumn.  This particular species is considered a rare find for the garden.  It's not as easy to come by as some of its cousins which you can find at most nurseries, but if you do find it, don't just stand there, get it while the getting is good!

Calceolaria tomentosa likes part sun/shade conditions, well-draining soil, regular water, and is hardy down to temperatures around 30 degrees fahrenheit/-1 degree celsius.  It's also not a fan of climates where temps remain above 80 degrees fahrenheit/26 degrees celsius at night.  It likes things on the temperate side.  One thing to remember about this amazingly cool plant is that it gets about 3 to 6 feet long.  It looks really cool when it's grown at the base of a supporting plant that can provide it with a structure to weave its way around and through.  So beautiful, bright, and unusual!