Dorstenia contrajeva or Contra Heirba, a native of tropical Caribbean is an interesting plant with strange looking receptacles. Leaves get up to 8 inches (10 cm) long and wide, deeply pinnately lobed and are very rough to the touch. Plants with great age will reach 12 inches (45 cm) tall in containers.
Blooming Time: Receptacles are 4 angled and irregularly lobed to 2 inches (5 cm) across.
Culture: Dorstenia contrajerva need part shade to full shade with a rich moist soil. We use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The soil should be kept evenly moist but not saturated. Fertilize on a weekly basis using a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Plant can become very weedy if you do not keep the old receptacles picked off. The seed in the receptacles are very viable and will germinate on any soil that they touch. Repotting of older plants can be done at any time of the year.
Propagation: Dorstenia contrajerva are easily propagated from seed or by division. Fresh seed germinate in 7-14 days.
Dorstenia contrajerva was featured as Plant of the Week August 10-16, 2001.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.