Cyanotis somaliensis (Pussy Ears, Furry Kittens)

Cyanotis somaliensis (Pussy Ears) after I brought it home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on 3-29-21, #785-4.

Furry Kittens, Pussy Ears

Cyanotis somaliensis

sy-an-NOH-tiss  soh-mal-ee-EN-sis

ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

Cyanotis somaliensis C.B.Clarke is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Cyanotis. It was named and described as such by Charles Baron Clarke in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew) in 1895.

The genus, Cyanotis D.Don, was named and described as such by David Don in Prodromus Florae Nepalensis in 1825.

Plants of the World Online lists 50 species in the genus Cyanotis (as of 9-16-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Commelinaceae with 39 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.

THERE ARE A FEW LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.

Cyanotis somaliensis (Pussy Ears) on 3-29-21, #785-5.

I spotted this neat little plant that looked similar to the Tradescantia at Wagler’s Greenhouse on March 29 (2021). Its leaves were more of a succulent-type with hair along the edges so I gave it a look and decided to bring it home. The reason it looks similar to the Tradescantia species I already have is because it is in the same family, Commelinaceae.

It will produce purplish flowers from the ends of the stems just like the Tradescantia, but besides the normal 3 petals, this species produces a mass of stringy looking, umm, ?. We will have to wait for flowers to be able to explain it. 🙂 You can look online for photos and see or yourself until this plant blooms and I take photos. One website that sells these plants says they have had them for several years and have yet to see them bloom. Maybe putting it in Miracle Grow Potting Soil will do the trick…

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Family: Commelinaceae.
Origin: Somalia in Africa.
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30 to 40° F/-1.1 to 4.5° C).
Size: Stems grow to around 18” long.
Light: I would say light to part shade but it depends on your location. Information online says anywhere from full sun to full shade.
Soil: Average, well-draining.
Water: Average water needs. Water when soil is dry.

Since I just brought this plant home I don’t know much about it yet. I would say it has similar requirements as Tradescantia. Dave’s Garden says it needs part to full shade while other websites (retail sites) say full sun to light shade, dappled light, etc. I will keep this plant on the front porch which faces west and has a roof. With the two maple trees in the front yard, it will receive what I would call light shade most of the day with periods of direct sun.

I will repot this plant in Miracle Grow Potting soil and water when the soil is dry. Normally, if Tradescantia species get amply moisture in lower light, they will become leggy.

During the winter, they should be watered less and perhaps kept in a cool room with bright light. During the winter, my Tradescantia tends to get a bit weird and needs to be trimmed and regrown when I take them back on the front porch for the summer. You can easily take cuttings and just put the stems in soil…

The Wikipedia article does say this species will not tolerate temperatures under 50° F (10°C) so I will have to keep that in mind…

Cyanotis somaliensis (Pussy Ears/Furry Kittens) on 8-18-21, #827-6.

The Cyanotis somaliensis had done very well over the summer. I did have it in light shade, but when temps started cooling off in September I put it in full sun. The temps went back up in the 90’s again and it didn’t seem too thrilled about that.

There isn’t much online about this species except for sites that sell the plants. I will keep adding photos and information as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you see I have made an error, please let me know in a comment or email me at thebelmontrooster@yahoo.com.

FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
TROPICOS (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
WIKIPEDIA (GENUS/SPECIES)
DAVE’S GARDEN
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
THE NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION

NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages and add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂

 

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