April 23, 2017

Island Delight

Pericallis x hybrida - Florist's cineraria

Janine Pineo Photo | Pericallis x hybrida – Florist’s cineraria

You’ve probably seen Pericallis x hybrida in the grocery store during winter, its daisylike blooms coming in an array of hues. Called Florist’s cineraria, this plant in the aster family is a cross between two Canary Island natives: P. cruenta and P. lanata. It can trace its beginnings back to 1777 when it was developed in the British royal gardens. Hardy to Zone 9, it can be used as annual here in Maine. It also makes a great houseplant, albeit one with certain watering demands. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, “These plants are susceptible to fluctuations in watering, overwatering rots roots and underwatering decreases flowering. They need high humidity, but do not wet the leaves.”