The ex-job has brought in a bunch of climbing / vining plants in the last few weeks. They're mostly species I haven't seen or heard of before, which makes them interesting, but I found it hard to take any of them seriously as a potential purchase. Vining plants are a pain in the ass indoors even when they do overwinter well, because they're always trying to latch on to your other plants (or curtains, or walls, or passers-by). My guess is that the idea is to sell them as annuals. Look, here's something new and different to put on your deck or balcony that will flower all summer and then get thrown out when the weather turns cold again.
Subsequent investigation has shown that I would probably not have been able to keep any of them alive indoors anyway. The last plant in this post, though, is a non-vine which I was interested in, or would have been if I'd thought there was any way I could afford it. (One of the nice - ? - things about going to the ex-job now is that I waste a lot less time debating with myself whether I should buy something, because unless it's in a three- or four-inch pot, I know I don't have the money.)
I wasn't familiar with C. madagascariensis; I've looked it up since getting back home, and nobody talks about it as a potential houseplant (to the point where a Garden Web poster asked about growing it indoors six months ago and no one has answered her. Though in fairness, she asked on the vines forum, not the houseplants forum, so there's a good chance nobody has answered because nobody's seen the question.). The sites that talk about growing it outdoors are more focused on its invasiveness (in Florida and Puerto Rico at least, and it's naturalized in Hawaii) than anything else, though TopTropicals.com says they need warm, humid conditions with constantly-moist soil, and everywhere else says they need full sun outdoors, so even if I had been interested, this would never have worked.
Mascagnia macroptera was never seriously under consideration either. I don't even particularly like the look of it. It also has invasive tendencies, and needs a lot of light, though it's apparently much more flexible about temperature and water than Cryptostegia.
'Sao Paulo' is apparently self-sterile, or it would be invasive as well. It's also mildly toxic (causes skin irritation and/or allergic reactions in some people) and, to my mind, a little weedy-looking too. The flowers are nice, though, I guess.
This one sort of bewildered me: we'd tried Allamanda while I was working there, and it didn't go well for us or for the plant, so it didn't make sense that they'd have brought it in on purpose. I assume they got it as part of a "climbers assortment" or something like that.
They're dangerously poisonous to kids and pets, and the ones we had when I was there defoliated in the winter. Plus they need, again, very bright light in order to do well (full sun or partial shade outdoors, which translates to at least full sun indoors), and I'm guessing they're probably also really prone to develop spider mites, since most plants in the Apocynaceae (Nerium, Adenium, Pachypodium, Mandevilla, Catharanthus, etc.) are to some degree or another. I can see how they might appeal to other people, but they do nothing for me.
This one I actually sort of like. (Autumn Belle has a nice post on this plant, with more pictures, at My Nice Garden, if you're interested.) This is also a slight cheat, in that these two photos are from March. I don't know who's responsible for all the climbers, but clearly someone at the ex-job has been developing an obsession over the past few months.
This Clerodendrum might actually be growable indoors, if one worked at it: Autumn Belle says they need a sturdy support to climb on (probably something sturdier than the support that was in the pot, I'm guessing), and presumably they also need moist soil, a lot of light, and decent humidity, but I wouldn't be surprised if people managed to pull it off somewhere. At least one of the parent plants, C. thomsoniae, can be grown indoors, anyway. (I wouldn't be surprised if someone managed to grow Allamanda indoors either; it's at least not unheard of. I just wouldn't want to try it myself.)
Now we come to the two non-climbers.
This was at Lowe's, not the ex-job, in case that isn't obvious from the picture.
I've never been tempted by Nerium. The combination of needing a lot of light and water, being spider-mite magnets, and having the ability to kill every mammal within a three-block radius of our house is sort of off-putting. But I won't contest that the flowers are pretty.
And finally, for the pièce de résistance, the plant I actually would have gotten if I could have:
That's right, it's one of the fabled yellow Anthurium hybrids. It's not very yellow, to be sure. More of a cream color. But even so, it's definitely yellowish, not white, and there's even an orange spadix as a bonus. I've wanted to see one of these for a long time, and never actually expected to, so seeing one at all was pretty exciting. I can only hope that this is the vanguard for an army of (hopefully affordable) yellow Anthuriums. I'd hate to think I've missed my chance forever.