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Genus: Cruckshanksia

Cruckshanksia Species in
Family: Rubiaceae

(Sometimes variously misspelled 'Cruckshankia', 'Cruickshanksia', 'Cruikshanksia', etc.) A genus of 7 species, all but one endemics of northern and central Chile. Apart from one pretty annual species not covered here, they are dwarf desert to alpine perennials. They have simple leaves and stemless terminal clusters of small yellow or orange star-shaped flowers with long tubular bases which nestle at the centre of a showy spread of usually much larger petaloid, bract-like sepals on petiole-like stalks (claws). Their are two to five per flower, equal or unequal and either the same colour as the flowers or a contrasting one. Their bases enclose the seeds, so that the old bleached sepals also act as dispersal agents when the wind blows.


All cruckshanksias may be expected to be difficult and demanding plants. They will require alpine house treatment as well as much skill and experience even to achieve germination (which has been recorded by several growers), let alone flowering. Careful study, including attention to notes of their habit details and climatic zones may suggest the best cultural regime.