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Dionysia michauxii
On the 26th of April 2003 we visited the Kuh-e Bamu National Park just east of the city of Shiraz. This should be the"home mountain" of Dionysia michauxii, one of the most beautiful and compact species of dionysia. Pictures taken by the late Jim Archibald in 1966 revealed the beauty of this species. He also introduced this species into cultivation. After we showed the guards of the NP the book The Genus Dionysia, which contains some pictures Jim Archibald took they offered to come with us in order to show the plants they recognised from the book. From the guardhouse it was a few hundred meters to the mountain, and together with one of the guards I climbed higher up to find the plants. Unfortunately all plants were past flowering, but we also have serious doubts about these plants being Dionysia michauxii. Plants were groing on south east facing cliffs at an altitude of approx. 2000m. We also searched the mountains very close to the city of Shiraz, but did not find any dionysias there.
This dionysia is one of the more demanding in cultivation, although not that difficult to propagate.

Botanical Description
Similar to D. lamingtonii, but leaves covered on both surfaces with reflexed hairs and the corolla-lobes scarcely notched at all. In addition the calyx is divided almost to the base, whereas in D. lamingtonii it is only divided for a half of its length. South-western Iran. Fars Province, east of Shiraz behind the University library, on sunny or partially shaded limestone cliffs and also on gentle slopes, 1600-2250m. One of the most desirable species but difficult to cultivate. Should be kept somewhat drier than other species. Botrytis is especially troublesome during the autumn and winter. Clones in cultivation, JCA2936, SLIZE254, DZ I 00-41.

Reference: ALPINE GARDEN SOCIETY PLANT ENCYCLOPAEDIA

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