Hairy, easy to look after and above all very, very purple. The Velvet Plant (Gynura aurantiaca or Purple Passion) provides a healthy dose of mysticism, passion and romance, whilst also bringing an exotic note into your home. So it’s no surprise that this radiant beauty is gaining in popularity. The leaves look like they’re made of velvet, with their small brightly coloured hairs. And this Indonesian light worshipper shows clearly how pleased it is with plenty of (indirect) sunlight: the colour will become ever deeper as the plant glows and grows delightedly.
It’s almost a shame that from time to time it gets carried away and flowers appear. The purple leaves lose some colour in exchange for insignificant, smelly blooms. But that's not going to happen for a while ...
COLOURS AND SHAPES
Purple! Happily you can’t miss it. The coloured leaves that look like velvet can reach a length of 15 cm and are shiny. Even the vertical stems are covered in violet hairs.
The orange flowers which appear amidst the fabulous purple don’t smell very nice, so just cut them out vigorously. This will allow the plant to invest its energy in the foliage again. The flowers, which look like dandelions, appear on the ends of the stems on older plants and are fairly insignificant. If you regularly take cuttings from the plant, you can enjoy the fresh bright purple colour forever, since older plants become a bit more dull.
The Velvet Plant itself has no symbolism. Nor do the colours of plants in general, since plants are almost always green. Amongst flowers, purple represents honour, preparation, physical matters, seriousness and mourning. Although few people will mourn the arrival of a fantastic bright purple enthusiast!
Gynura originates from Indonesia. Some twenty different species occur in the wild. A couple of these can also brighten your home, including Gynura aurantiaca.