Johann Christian Gottlob Baumgarten

Telekia Speciosa: The Magnificent Yellow Ox Eye

Telekia speciosa, also known as Telekia cordifolia, Buphtalmum speciosum, Buphtalmum cordifolum, Yellow Ox Eye, Heart-Leaved Ox Eye, or Ox-Eye Daisy, is a captivating plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. This remarkable species draws its name from Samuel Teleki de Szek, a Hungarian patron of the renowned German physician and botanist Johann Christian Gottlob Baumgarten (1765-1843). Baumgarten, fascinated by the flora of Transylvania, dedicated his time to botanical research and authored a comprehensive four-volume work on the plants of the Transylvanian region, titled “Enumeriato stirpium Magno Transsilvaniae principatul.”

A Perennial Splendor

Telekia speciosa is a herbaceous, rhizomatous perennial that can reach impressive heights of up to 2 meters or 6 feet. This species is native to Central Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and the Balkans, where it thrives in its natural habitat. Its distinctive foliage consists of large, oval, or heart-shaped leaves with a slight fragrance. The upper surface of the leaves is smooth (glabrous), while the underside bears a fine layer of hair. The basal leaves, which grow in a rosette pattern, can attain an impressive size of up to 12 inches or 30 centimeters in length.

A Dazzling Display of Color

Telekia speciosa graces the summer landscape, delighting onlookers with its magnificent blooms that appear in late summer, adorning tall, elegant spikes. The flowers of this species are a vibrant shade of yellow, accentuated by striking orangish centers. Their radiant hues and unique structure attract not only human admirers but also birds and butterflies, bringing life and vibrancy to any garden or natural setting.

Telekia speciosa
Bright yellow leaves of Telekia-speciosa at Kew Garden

Cultivation and Propagation of Telekia speciosa

To cultivate Telekia speciosa, select a sunny or partially shaded location with well-drained soil. It is advisable to provide some shelter from strong winds, which may cause damage to the delicate blooms. This resilient plant can be propagated from seed, and it also has the ability to self-seed, allowing for the natural and effortless expansion of its presence.

Embrace the Splendor of Telekia Speciosa

Telekia speciosa, with its commanding stature, large heart-shaped leaves, and radiant yellow flowers, stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity of nature. Whether adorning a garden bed, enhancing a natural landscape, or captivating the hearts of butterflies and birds, this remarkable plant invites you to immerse yourself in its splendor. Embrace the majesty of Telekia speciosa and witness the enchantment it brings to your surroundings.

Telekia speciosa
Telekia speciosa

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