Heimia salicifolia or Sinicuichi is a perennial shrub native from Mexico to Argentina. In nature, the shrubs will reach 10 feet (~3.3 m) tall with an equal spread. The opposite linear-lanceolate will reach up to 3.5 inches (9 cm) long. The plant has been used medicinally since the times of the Aztecs; shamans still revere its properties today. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-11.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, the plants start blooming in the early spring and blooms until late fall. Bright yellow 0.75 inch (2 cm) flowers are found in leaf axils.
Culture: Heimia salicifolia need full sun to partial shade, with a moist, rich, well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand and perlite. To every 0.01 cu yards of mix we add 2 cups of 14-14-14 Osmocote slow release fertilizer. The plants are kept moist for optimum growth and fertilized weekly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months, temperatures are allowed to drop to 55°F (13°C) at night. During this period, water is somewhat restricted, but the plants should never be allowed to dry out completely. One should take care if the plants are used in the landscape, as they can become very weedy; constant trimming of seed capsules helps.
Propagation: Heimia salicifolia plants may be propagated from cuttings, layers and from seed.
Heimia salicifolia was featured as Plant of the Week May 20-26, 2005.
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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 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.