Bowenia, an ideal plant to have in low-light corners

Bowenia spectabilis specimen

bowenia spectabilis

If you like gardens decorated with primitive plants, as are ferns, conifers or Cycas, we invite you to meet a botanical genus called Bowenia. Very similar in appearance to that of zamia, our protagonists have been on Earth for a long time, specifically, since the Eocene, some 56 million years ago.

It is not a very well known plant, but it is well worth getting a specimen since its maintenance is very simple, being able to be in areas where sunlight does not reach directly. Do we know it? 😉

Bowenia characteristics

Bowenia serrulata specimen

Bowenia serrulata

Bowenia is a primitive plant that lives only in Queensland, Australia, in the warm, humid rainforest near waterways. Two species have been described: B. spectabilis and B. serrulata. Both have the same characteristics: reach a height of 1,5 meters and have pinnate leaves whose foliole is 60 to 100mm long and 20 to 30mm wide, green in color.

They only differ in one thing: where they live. While the B. spectabilis grows in northeast Queensland, being found from Cardwell to Cooktown, the B. serrulata it often coexists with eucalyptus trees in east-central Queensland, around Byfield and northeast Rockhampton.

How do you take care of yourself?

Two-year-old specimen of B. spectabilis

Specimen of B. spectabilis two years old.

If you have just purchased a copy, and you don't know how to take care of it, here is its care guide:

  • Location: outside, in semi-shade. Indoors, it must be placed in a room with plenty of natural light.
  • Soil or substrate: it must have good drainage and be fertile.
  • Irrigation: two or three times a week in summer, and 1-2 times a week the rest of the year.
  • Planting or transplanting time: in spring. Change pot every two-three years.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring. Slow germination. It may take 3 months to germinate.
  • Rusticity: withstands cold down to -3ºC.

Did you know this plant?


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  1.   Miguel Angel said

    Greetings Monica, interesting article related to plants that need little light. Considered that there are still more commercial species missing.
    Likewise, I also loved the article on the number of plant species on earth.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We are glad you liked them, Miguel Ángel 🙂