In the past few years we’ve been working on a third offering from our Kurapia line. This new product, provided from our amazing genetic researchers in Japan, is an exciting new strain we call Drought Angel™. While we are still finishing some testing to learn more about this amazing discovery, we are very excited at the results. It is starting to show some incredible characteristics that align with our goal of offering a third plant, to be sold via gallon containers with trade partners for professional installations, Drought Angel™ is absolutely going to be a game changer.

An up close look at the tough leaves of this new Kurapia strain as it plows through mulch forming a heavy and tough groundcover

While Kurapia Drought Angel™ has some interesting growth patterns, it still mats down into a tough and durable walking area, even on steep slopes, reinforced by strong roots and stems.

Preliminary trials here in Los Angeles has been very interesting, even in heavy clay soil, this new strain, (which we are calling E3 for now) has showing some very interesting differences. One thing that I’ve noticed here in Los Angeles is the unique signature of the aptical meristem. Unlike other plants we’ve seen, this produces a leathery and tough protoderm that produces a heavy leaf along the node. What makes this interesting is how it pushes the plant to spread quickly but also survive more extreme situations over other strains. To describe it best, the leaves look almost like a holly leaf at the start, then gradually flattens out akin to other Phyla strains. Mark noticed in Japan that it spreads very aggressively in arid regions, and the thickness of the root means this may be the most drought tolerant an fast growing strain. We’re not sure if we see it appropiate for turf and sod production at this point, but see it as a hillside replacement for hot coastal areas, replacing the need for slower growing popular hillside strains like Carpybrotus, Sedums, Iceplants, and Gazanias.

 

A really close look at Drought Angel™’s unique leaf signature, which immediately forms a dramatic look as it explores new spaces, which is advantageous for hillsides.

Due to the growth style and application for such technical applications such as hillside establishment and stabilization, growth pattern, and toughness, this plant will soon be available for professional contractors through a soon to be announced gallon grower, and available through all the major landscaping distribution hubs. Professional landscapers, landscape architects, and contractors, keep your eyes open. This product will absolutely become your go-to for hillside and difficult planting areas!