Rhoeo: Greenhouse Plants
T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
Florida to Mexico
Rhoeo discolor is known as Boat Lily or Moses in the Cradle, no doubt an allusion to the boat-shaped bracts at the base of the leaves from which the flowers are formed. This handsome plant will survive warm conditions but really needs tropical temperatures to grow well. The leaves of the species are a dull green above, purple beneath. There is a brightly variegated form, R. d. ‘Vittata’, which has bright yellow stripes running down the leaves. The small form R. d. ‘Minima’ makes attractive foliage clumps. Cuttings are easily taken although I would recommend cutting back the leaf area otherwise they are rather unmanageable. They root as easily as their close relative Tradescantia. I have found that their sap is slightly irritant, especially if accidentally wiped on the face. Seed, which should be soaked for half an hour before sowing just beneath the surface of peat-based seed, should germinate within three to four weeks at 18-21°C (65-70°F).