This post was very probably prompted by Amy Stewart's post at Garden Rant about the book Pull Up Your Agapanthus, Your Aster is Showing, and also by the website Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature, but I had already been thinking about plants that should exist but don't. Every once in a while, I'll get something mis-sorted on a spreadsheet (Oh yes. There are spreadsheets.) and find all the botanical names recombined on me, and some of them look like they'd make interesting plants, if only they were real.
So here are a few I came up with. Some of the names are puns, some are just recombinations that were interesting, some are something else entirely. Some of the jokes are a little bit of a reach, or obscure, for which I apologize in advance. Readers are invited to pick a couple and try to picture what the plant would look like. Or suggest your own in the comments. Or pre-order any that you think sound exceptionally interesting. Or throw out some better names for the pictures. Whatever.
Saintpaulia x 'Minneapolis' & Saintpaulia x 'Minnesotia'
Aglaonema purpurea (purpurea = purple)
Echeveria salicornioides (salicornioides = like a [weeping] willow)
Ludisia giganteum (giganteum = giant)
Sutera cordata 'Cabana' (actually does exist, but I thought of the name before I knew that)
Araucaria spheroides (spheroides = like a sphere)
Spathiphyllum rubrum (rubrum = dark red)
Dieffenbachia palmata (palmata = hand-shaped)
Dahlia x 'Barbie' & Dahlia x 'Ken'
Guzmania canadiensis (canadiensis = Canadian)
Euphorbia cordatum (cordatum = heart-shaped)
Hoya x 'Ahoy'
Dracaena x 'Da Crime'
Anthurium erythroneura (erythroneura = red-veined)
Monstera deliciosa 'Cookie'
Hosta x 'Work Environment'
Calathea asterifolia (asterifolia = star-leaf)
Maranta leuconeura 'Carmen'
Epipremnum quadrangularis (quadrangularis = rectangular, four-sided)
Portulaca x 'Chewbacca'
Dracaena scandens (scandens = trailing)
Schefflera albolineata (albolineata = white lined)
Dracaena marginata 'Gothic'
Beaucarnea hastatum (hastatum = spear-shaped)
Strelitzia maculata (maculata = spotted)
Photo credits: mostly my original photos (except for Hoya and Strelitzia), inexpertly and hastily recolored with the freeware program Irfanview, which is still the only photo-manipulation software I'm capable of using without getting confused, frustrated, or both.