Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Introducing: The Rumble Among the Jungle

UPDATE: Nominations are now closed. I appreciate everybody's input.
The list of contestants will be revealed tomorrow afternoon; I expect voting to begin in the middle of next week but can't promise anything yet.


I had an idea a long, long time ago. The idea was that I wanted to pit houseplants against one another in a single-elimination tournament to determine which was the "best," with "best" being determined by reader votes. I was going to call it the "Rumble Among the Jungle."

And then I sat on that idea for a very long time, because the first step, obviously, would be to come up with a list of contestants, and I wasn't sure how to do that.

For some reason, the idea's come back to me in the last week or so, and I've decided to narrow it down to the most commonly sold plants, with a few other qualifiers.

1. They should be sold as potted plants, not as fruits, rhizomes, or whatever -- so pineapples and avocado trees are out.
2. They should be plants which one might reasonably be expected to grow indoors year round, if the situation demanded, which rules out forced bulbs like daffodils and hyacinths.
3. They should be plants which could be easily found and purchased by someone who was looking for them, within his/r local garden center / supermarket / home-improvement store "scene," within a year of beginning to look. (This is so that common but seasonal plants like Schlumbergera or poinsettias can be included.)

I'm also limiting the experiment to 128 slots, which is why this post. (128 seemed like as large of a power of 2 as I could manage without dragging it all out indefinitely. I figure voting 128 plants down to one big winner should take about 2 months: a little long, perhaps, but manageable.) Naturally, I wound up choosing a few too many, and lumping species and varieties together in ways which may or may not make sense, so the main purpose of this post is to show y'all the possible contestants and ask for feedback about who's been unfairly left off the list, who's nowhere near common enough where you live to be included on the list, and who should be lumped together into one slot or split up into several.

Also: I don't have usable photos for a few of the plants on the list; you'll know which ones when you get there. If you have a photo you'd let me use (ideally showing both foliage and flower, on a relatively plain background, but I'll settle), send it to me by e-mail, or point me to the web address, and I'll update the post.

PATSP's next new post will be Saturday's Sheba/Nina picture, so we have a few days to ponder and discuss all of this, start placing bets as to who will win, etc. Readers who are not nerdy enough to care about any of this are asked to be patient. It's only a few days.

The final list of contestants will be up to me, because it's my blog, but I wouldn't be asking for input if I didn't intend to weigh it in the decision.

Official actual voting will commence at some point next week, once I 1) have a final contestant list, 2) set up the brackets, and 3) start posting the polls. I intend to continue writing regular posts in the mornings, in addition to the RATJ posts in the afternoon.

So here are the possible contestants so far:

1. Acalypha reptans (chenille plant)
2 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.


2. Adenium obesum cvv. (desert rose; shown: NOID)


3. Adiantum spp. (maidenhair ferns; shown: A. capillus-veneris)


4. Aechmea fasciata (silver vase plant)


5. Aeonium spp. (shown: A. arboreum atropurpureum 'Zwartkopf')


6. Aeschynanthus spp. (lipstick plant, goldfish plant; shown: A. lobbianus)


7. Agave spp. (shown: A. victoriae-reginae)


8. Aglaonema cvv. (chinese evergreen; shown: A. 'Maria')


9. Alocasia amazonica 'Polly' (african mask plant)


10. Aloe vera (medicinal aloe, burn plant)


11. Alpinia zerumbet, variegated (variegated shell ginger)
3 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


12. Anthurium cvv. (flamingo flower; shown: A. 'Pandola.' Excludes foliage Anthuriums.)


13. Aphelandra squarrosa (zebra plant)


14. Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine)


15. Ardisia crenata (coral berry)
3 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


16. Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton tree)
5 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.


17. Asparagus spp. (asparagus fern; shown: A. setaceus)
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


18. Asplenium spp. (bird's-nest ferns; shown, L-R: A. nidus, A. antiquum)

19. Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose (Eve's needle)
Photo credit: ArséniureDeGallium, at Wikimedia Commons.
2 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


20. Beaucarnea recurvata (ponytail palm)


21. Begonia cvv. (rhizomatous begonias; shown: NOID)


22. Begonia rex-cultorum cvv. (rex begonia; shown: B. rex-cultorum 'Harmony's Red Robin')


23. Calathea cvv. (various names; shown: C. roseopicta 'Medallion')


24. Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.


25. Cattleya alliance orchids (shown: Sophrolaeliocattleya Hazel Boyd 'Debbie')


26. Cereus tetragonus (fairy castle cactus)


27. Chamaedorea elegans (parlor palm)


28. Chlorophytum comosum cvv. (spider plant; shown: NOID)


29. Cissus rhombifolia cvv. (oakleaf ivy, grape ivy; shown: Cissus rhombifolia)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


30. Codiaeum variegatum cvv. (croton; shown: C. variegatum 'Petra?')


31. Coffea arabica (coffee plant)
3 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


32. Cordyline fruticosa cvv. (ti plant; shown: C. fruticosa 'Florica')
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


33. Cordyline glauca
5 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


34. Crassula ovata and similar species (jade plant; shown: C. ovata)


35. Cryptanthus cvv. (earth star; shown: 'Elaine?')


36. Cycas revoluta (sago palm)


37. Cyclamen persicum cvv. (florist's cyclamen; shown: NOID)


38. Davallia spp. and other furry-rhizomed ferns like Polypodium/Phlebodium (rabbit's-foot fern, hare's-foot fern, bear's-paw fern, kangaroo fern; shown: Davallia fejeensis 'Major')


39. Dieffenbachia cvv. (dumb cane; shown: 'Camille?')


40. Dionaea muscipula (venus flytrap)


41. Dischidia ruscifolia (million hearts)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.


42. Dracaena deremensis cvv. incl. 'Janet Craig,' 'Warneckei,' etc.(shown: D. deremensis 'Lemon-Lime')


43. Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana' (corn plant)


44. Dracaena marginata cvv. (Madagascar dragon tree)


45. Dracaena reflexa cvv. incl. 'Riki,' 'Song of Jamaica,' etc. (shown: D. reflexa 'Song of India')


46. Dracaena sanderiana (lucky bamboo, ribbon plant)


47. Dracaena surculosa cvv. (gold-dust dracaena; shown: NOID)


48. Echeveria cvv. and intergenerics like Sedeveria, Pachyveria, etc. (shown: Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg')


49. Echinocactus grusonii (golden barrel cactus)


50. Echinopsis spp. (shown: NOID)


51. Epiphyllum / Selenicereus spp. (ric-rac cactus, orchid cactus; shown: E. oxypetalum)


52. Epipremnum aureum cvv. (pothos; shown: E. aureum 'Marble Queen')


53. Episcia cvv. (flame violet; shown: assortment)


54. Espostoa lanata, Oreocereus trollii, & Cephalocereus senilis (old man cacti; shown: E. lanata)


55. Columnar Euphorbia spp. like ammak, ingens, trigona, etc. (shown: E. ingens?)


56. Euphorbia lactea cvv. (hatrack cactus, dragon bones; includes crested forms and crested grafts)


57. Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns; shown: NOID)


58. Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia, the devil in plant form; shown: NOID)


59. Fatshedera lizei (tree ivy, aralia ivy; shown: variegated cultivar)
5 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.


60. Ficus benjamina cvv. (weeping fig; shown: F. benjamina 'Midnight')


61. Ficus elastica cvv. (rubber plant, rubber tree; shown: F. elastica 'Tineke' or 'Sylvie')


62. Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig)
2 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


63. Ficus maclellandii (long-leaf fig)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


64. Ficus pumila (creeping fig; shown: F. pumila 'Snowflake')
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
2 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


65. Fittonia albivenis cvv. (nerve plant; shown: NOID)


66. Gardenia jasminoides (gardenia)


67. Guzmania cvv. (shown: NOID)


68. Haworthia spp. (shown: NOID)


69. Hedera helix cvv. (English ivy; shown: assortment)


70. Hemigraphis exotica (purple waffle plant)


71. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (tropical hibiscus; shown: NOID)


72. Hippeastrum cvv. (amaryllis)
Photo credit: Arpingstone at Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.


73. Hoya carnosa cvv. (wax plant; shown: H. carnosa 'Krimson Queen')


74. Hylocereus/Gymnocalycium grafts (moon cactus; shown: assortment)


75. Hypoestes phyllostachya cvv. (polka-dot plant; shown: assortment)


76. Jasminum spp. (jasmine; shown: J. sambac?)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
[I'm not counting Ivynettle's vote to remove because the category includes all Jasminum spp., not just sambac]


77. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (flaming katy, kalanchoe; shown: NOID)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


78. Kalanchoe luciae / thyrsiflora (flapjack plant; shown: K. luciae?)


79. Kalanchoe tomentosa cvv. (panda plant)


80. Mammillaria cvv./spp. (shown: NOID)


81. Maranta leuconeura cvv. (prayer plant; shown: M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana)


82. Mimosa pudica (sensitive plant)
Photo credit: Liza Wheeler. Used by permission.
2 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


83. Monstera deliciosa cvv. (swiss cheese philodendron; shown: M. deliciosa 'Cheesecake')


84. Musa & Ensete spp./cvv. (ornamental banana; shown: NOID)


85. Nematanthus cvv. (guppy plant; shown: NOID)


86. Nephrolepis exaltata cvv. (Boston fern; shown: N. exaltata var. bostoniensis)
Photo credit: anonymous donor. Used by permission.


87. Oncidium alliance orchids (shown: Oncidium Tsiku Marguerite NN #1)


88. Opuntia spp./cvv. (prickly pear cactus, paddle cactus, bunny ears cactus; shown: O. microdasys?)


89. Oxalis spp. ("Shamrocks," except they're not really shamrocks. They're like, sham shamrocks. Shown: O. triangularis cv.)


90. Pachira aquatica (money tree)


91. Pachypodium spp. (Madagascar palm; shown: P. lamerei)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
3 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


92. Paphiopedilum cvv. (lady-slipper orchid)


93. Pelargonium x hortorum (geranium; shown: P. 'Mrs. Pollock')
Photo credit: Han Keat Lim. Used by permission.


94. Peperomia argyreia (watermelon peperomia)


95. Peperomia caperata cvv. (shown: NOID)


96. Peperomia clusiifolia cvv. (shown: P. clusiifolia 'Rainbow?')


97. Peperomia obtusifolia (baby rubber plant; shown: P. obtusifolia 'Golden Gate')


98. Phalaenopsis/Doritaenopsis cvv. (moth orchid; shown: NOID)


99. Self-heading Philodendrons like 'Autumn,' 'Prince of Orange,' 'Moonlight' (shown: P. 'Prince of Orange')


100. Philodendron erubescens cvv. incl. 'Red Emerald,' 'Golden Emerald' (shown: P. erubescens 'Red Emerald')
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


101. Philodendron hederaceum cvv. (heart-leaf philodendron; shown: P. hederaceum micans)


102. Philodendron 'Xanadu' / 'Hope' / bipinnatifidum / 'Spicy Dog' (tree philodendron, xanadu philodendron; shown: P. bipinnatifidum 'Hope?')


103. Pilea cadierei (aluminum plant)


104. Pilea involucrata 'Norfolk' (friendship plant)


105. Pilea mollis 'Moon Valley.'


106. Pilosocereus pachycladus


107. Platycerium spp. (staghorn fern; shown: NOID)


108. Podocarpus macrophyllus (buddhist pine)
5 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.


109. Polyscias balfouriana (balfour aralia; shown: variegated variety)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended combining this plant with Polyscias fruticosa.


110. Polyscias fruticosa (ming aralia)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended combining this plant with Polyscias balfouriana.


111. Portulacaria afra cvv. (baby jade plant, elephant bush; shown: P. afra)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
2 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


112. Radermachera sinica (china doll)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
2 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


113. Ravenea rivularis (majesty palm)
2 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
2 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


114. Rhapis excelsa cvv. (lady palm; shown: species)


115. Saintpaulia cvv. (African violet; shown: NOID)


116. Sansevieria cylindrica (wisdom horns)


117. Sansevieria trifasciata cvv. (snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue; shown: S. trifasciata 'Laurentii')


118. Saxifraga stolonifera (strawberry begonia)


119. Schefflera actinophylla cvv. (umbrella plant, umbrella tree, octopus tree; shown: species)
2 people have recommended combining this plant with Schefflera arboricola.


120. Schefflera arboricola cvv. (umbrella plant, umbrella tree; shown: species)
2 people have recommended combining this plant with Schefflera actinophylla.


121. Schefflera elegantissima cvv. (false aralia, Dizygotheca elegantissima; shown: species)


122. Schlumbergera cvv. (holiday/Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus; shown: NOID)


123. Scindapsus pictus (satin pothos)


124. Sedum burrito and S. morganianum (burro's tail; shown: S. burrito)


125. Soleirolia soleirolii cvv. (baby tears; shown: NOID)


126. Spathiphyllum cvv. (peace lily; shown: NOID)


127. Stenocereus pruinosus


128. Strelitzia nicolai and S. reginae (white bird of paradise, orange bird of paradise; shown: S. nicolai)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.
1 person has recommended not removing this plant from the list.


129. Stromanthe sanguinea cvv. (shown: S. sanguinea 'Triostar')


130. Syngonium podophyllum cvv. (arrowhead vine; shown: S. podophyllum 'White Butterfly?')


131. Tillandsia cyanea (pink quill)


132. Tillandsia spp. (air plants; shown: T. capitata 'Peach')


133. Tradescantia pallida (purple heart)


134. Tradescantia spathacea cvv. (moses-in-the-cradle, oyster plant; shown: variegated variety)


135. Tradescantia zebrina cvv. (wandering jew; shown: NOID)


136. Small hybrid Vriesea cvv. (shown: NOID)


137. Vriesea splendens (flaming sword)


138. Yucca guatemalensis cvv. (spineless yucca; shown: species)
2 people have recommended removing this plant from the list.
2 people have recommended not removing this plant from the list.


139. Zamioculcas zamiifolia (zz plant, eternity plant)



Plants I thought of too late, after everything was already numbered and formatted and stuff:

140. Cereus peruvianus (Peruvian apple cactus)
1 person has recommended removing this plant from the list.

141. Lithops cvv. (living stones; shown: NOID)

Reader-suggested additions:

142. Senecio rowleyanus and S. radicans (string of pearls / string of bananas; shown: S. rowleyanus)
2 people have recommended adding this plant to the list.

143. Gynura aurantiaca (purple passion plant)
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

144. Clivia cvv.
Photo credit: Guérin Nicolas at Wikimedia Commons.
2 people have recommended adding this plant to the list.

145. Dendrobium cvv. (shown: D. 'Karen')
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

146. Sarracenia spp./cvv. (pitcher plant)
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

147. Drosera spp./cvv. (sundew)
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

148. Aporocactus flagelliformis (rat-tail cactus)
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

149. Rhipsalis spp.
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

150. Gymnocalycium spp. (shown: NOID)
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

151. Gasteria spp.
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.

152. Citrus / Fortunella spp./cvv. (citrus trees, kumquats, lemons, etc.)
1 person has recommended adding this plant to the list.


41 comments:

Pat said...

And one true Aloe to rule them all. Seriously, a plant that will come back after not being watered for four years?

I love my Citrus, even if it hasn't flowered. Keeps me in petitgrain-flavoured toothpicks.

I prefer the (nicely) scented pelargoniums.

Sasha Dreamer said...

Goooo number 87 - Oncidium Tsiku Marguerite!! This is the plant which led me to your fantastic blog. :D I greatly enjoy the jungle rumble concept and look forward to voting.

Anonymous said...

some winners and losers jump out at me immediately. but i will save that for the voting masses.

mr_subjunctive said...

Anonymous:

Yeah, I have some theories about who's going to get weeded out (so to speak) before the quarterfinals, though I'm sure I'll be surprised by matches on a pretty regular basis.

sigonee said...

I love that you included some cacti! Although I don't know if it's wise to keep a saguaro as a house plant. In 100 years or so, you might have a problem!

Jeane said...

you left out my favorite, Plectranthus verticillatus (my mother calls it creeping charlie)

mr_subjunctive said...

Jeane:

I like it too, but I don't very often see it in stores. Is it in retail a lot where you live?

Ivynettle said...

Well, damn. Got a million pictures of Hippeastrums, but of course none that also shows the leaves. And the Mimosa pics are all either leaves or flowers.

Jenn said...

I recommend not removing this plant:

Cissus rhombifolia cvv.

Seriously. When every other plant I've moved with has gone to plant heaven, this one has been with me since the mid eighties and is still going.

Perfect houseplant. I suspect the person who advocates removal overwatered it. Once a week is enough, even in the Phoenix desert.

mr_subjunctive said...

Jenn:

He said it was because he had never seen them for sale in his area. (Being a difficult houseplant won't keep anything off the list; I'm selecting by availability, not by ease of care.)

Your experiences with C. rhombifolia are very, very unlike my own. I've tried it three times, and only one of those lived longer than a year; the third lasted just over two. I recorded the causes of death as 1) I have no idea, 2) probably overwatered, and 3) mildew + ugly + leaf drop from over- and/or underwatering.

Tom said...

Based on availability in my area (Chicagoland) I'd recommend against removing 19. Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose, 29. Cissus rhombifolia cvv., 31. Coffea arabica, 62. Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig), 63. Ficus maclellandii (long-leaf fig), and Strelitzia nicolai and S. reginae. I've seen all of these are my local home depots and lowes pretty much every time I go there. My own personal experience also says that Saguaro are not terribly common for people in most of the country. Also I think your picture of majesty palm is really triangle palm, Dypsis decaryi.

Emily said...

Ones I either don't notice as being for sale (aka, don't think so but they maybe aren't the type I look for so I could be mistaken) or haven't ever seen for sale:
Ardisia crenata
Ardisia elliptica
Coffea arabica
Cordyline glauca
Fatshedera lizei
Ficus lyrata
Ficus pumila
Jasminum spp.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Mimosa pudica - am growing it myself, actually, but from seed ordered on eBay; I've never seen the plant itself for sale
Podocarpus macrophyllus
Polyscias balfouriana
Polyscias fruticosa
Portulacaria afra
Radermachera sinica

Plants I somewhat regularly see for sale not on the list:
Aporocactus flagelliformis
Rhipsalis spp.
Gymnocalycium spp.
Gasteria spp. (maybe lump in with Haworthia?)

Emily said...

Oh, and wanted to add after scanning through again:

Schefflera, for me, could all be one lumped category; just bought a Ficus maclellandii at Lowes for $7(!); and while I don't see Pachypodium spp. as frequently as I'd like, Lowes/local nurseries almost always have one largish plant for sale (live in the South, but when I was in Philly they were occasionally for sale there, too).

Thomas said...

A few I've recently come across within the last year: Crossandra infundibuliformis, Selaginella, Iresine herbstii, and "Coleus".

Han Keat Lim said...

I've a photo of Pelargonium x hortorum 'Mrs. Pollock' with flowers. I've just send it to you per email.

Loona said...

Just a quick question: I live in Hungary, Europe, but I see that most of the readers are from the other side of the ocean :) Is the "plants that are common/not common where you live"-part restricted to people living on the American continent? I'm a bit curious just because with the main group of readers being based there it would be logical to include just them (otherwise the results wouldn't really be statistically accurate), but then because of this you would get a result that would be somewhat restricted. I guess it depends the most on the kind of conclusion you would like to get :)

This just came to my mind because I saw that someone recommended Kalanchoe blossfeldiana to be removed from the list. These plants are oh so common here (basically throughout the year) that if I were to make a list of the most common plants they would definitely be in the top 10 (if not in the top 5). My experiences during visits to other European countries suggest that it's not only Hungary where they are pretty easy to find. So if my vote counts I would recomment it not to be taken off the list - and if I'm out, that's ok too, in this case consider this an interesting piece of info I thought I'd share :)

mr_subjunctive said...

Loona:

I'm definitely looking for opinions from outside North America.

I was a little shocked that Emily suggested removing K. blossfeldiana too; they're one of the plants we always had at the garden center where I used to work, and I see them fairly often in grocery stores here as well.

Anonymous said...

What kind of voting system do you intend to use? A proportional representation algorithm might give the most interesting results...

Don

mr_subjunctive said...

Don-nonmyous:

Indeed it might, but after looking at Wikipedia, I have basically no idea how I could do that.

I intended a single-elimination tournament, where everybody votes for either Plant A or Plant B. The winner goes on to the next round, where it will face the winner of the Plant C / Plant D matchup.

Partly this is because I figure I'd get a better response to clicking a radio button on a poll than I would if I asked people to leave a comment, and as far as I know, the polls I'll be using (from PollDaddy.com) don't allow for anything more nuanced than a simple A/B choice or a pick-as-many-as-apply choice.

Ivynettle said...

Haha, I knew Liza would supply the Haha, I knew Liza would supply the Mimosa pic!

*waves at Loona* You’re not the only European here!


I’ve finally got time to take a closer look at that list, so let’s add an Austrian perspective:

Common/easily available (of the ones that somebody has suggested should be removed):
Ardisia crenata
Cissus
Coffea*
Cordyline fruticosa
Ficus lyrata, maclellandii*, pumila*
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana*
Mimosa*
Pachypodium
Philodendron erubescens
Portulacaria
Radermachera
Yucca*

(* = very common, as in, it’s difficult to find a garden centre that doesn’t have them)

Never seen (or so long ago that I can’t remember):
Acalypha (not as a houseplant, anyway – we sold them as annuals)
Alpinia
Fatshedera
Ardisia elliptica
Cordyline glauca
Jasminum sambac
(J. polyanthum, on the other hand, is pretty common)
Podocarpus
Ravenea
(never even heard of it before)


Maybe combine the Polysciases, and the Scheffleras?

Jenn said...

Ah. Availability. Right. Mine's a pass-along from my grandma's plant.

I've seen them only rarely in the marketplace, so he has a good point.

Pat said...

Hi, Loona. Another European here.

From Ivynettle's list I would have to agree that in Britain the following are seldom if ever found commercially:

Acalypha
Alpinia (I've got an A. formosana but from a specialist nursery)
Ardisia elliptica
Cordyline glauca
Podocarpus
Ravenea

I don't remember ever seeing a Dischidia offered here except by specialists.

I used to see Fatshedera a lot but wouldn't notice it now as I am usually looking for something new and unusual. Lots of people grow it outdoors.

There are Jasminums available and sambac is just a representative of the genus, you say. Strong contenders for loveliness and perfume.

Ficus pumila is definitely available, as is Kalanchoe blossfeldiana. Mimosa pudica is usually sold as a dense group of seedlings in a small pot, obviously not going for longevity. Many nurseries have a few spectacular Pachypodiums. Radermachera and Portulacaria (usually the variegated one) are also common.

This reminds me that I saw some (purple) Celosias in a supermarket houseplant section just last week. They have always been popular here in many shapes and colours. I seem to remember you said they are not seen in the US, mr_subjunctive.

mr_subjunctive said...

Pat:

Celosias are seen, but sold pretty exclusively as outdoor annuals, so they're everywhere from April to June, and then you don't see them again for nine months. I don't know of anyone who's tried to grow them indoors. After my experiences with them at the garden center, I'm not remotely tempted to try, personally. (We had a lot of trouble keeping them properly wet: they were in 6-packs, with tiny rootballs, so they dried out almost immediately. The ones in the centers of the tables, on the other hand, never dried out, and tended to rot. So the default look of the table was a small tuft of rotting plants standing upright in a field of wilted ones.)

Diana said...

Here's my list of I-don't-recall-seeing-these-for-sale-that-often-if-at-all:

Alpinia zerunabet, Ardisia aenata, Ardiisia elliptica, Coffee arabaca, Cordyline glauca, Fatshedeia lizei, Podocarpus macrophyllus and Yuca guatemalensis.

I support adding Clivia and can suggest Asperigus fern. Is the night blooming Cereus lumped into the group (who's Latin name I forgot to jot down) with Ric-rac cactus?

Sorry for any typos. Spell check does NOT like scientific names!

mr_subjunctive said...

Diana:

Depends which night-blooming cereus you mean; I've seen that name used for Epiphyllum and Cereus peruvianus both. And I think maybe also a third thing that's slipping my mind right now.

allandrewsplants said...

I'll give you my list of plants people have recommended removing that we always have in stock where I work:
Alpinia zerumbet
Coffea arabica
Cordyline glauca
Ficus lyrata
Polyscias fruticosa/balfouriana
Ravenea rivularis
Yucca guatemalensis cvv.

Regarding the other recommended but not currently on the list:
We have Senecio rowleyanus way more often than we have things like Creeping Fig

And we have never had Pelargonium x hortorum sold as a houseplant, only as an annual.

Also haven't ever seen (over 5 years):
Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose
Fatshedera lizei

* Mimosa pudica we have year round as seed but have never seen a plant available.

Interesting idea here.

Jeane said...

No; I've never seen it in a store, either! And I've been looking. My mother's had her plant forever, and my grandmother has a large, beautiful one. I wonder if my mom's plant grew from a cutting off my grandma's? I ought to just start me own from a cutting of hers, but I live far away from her now... can you mail cuttings across the country, or carry them on a plane? haha

mr_subjunctive said...

allandrewsplants:

Yeah, Pelargonium is in sort of a weird spot. Nobody sells it as a houseplant. On the other hand, it's not like you can't grow it as a houseplant -- that's how I've been doing mine, and they seem okay. On the third hand, I don't see much evidence that anybody but myself grows Pelargoniums indoors year-round, so maybe it shouldn't count.

It probably won't make it onto the final list unless a whole lot of people turn out to be growing it indoors without telling me, but it's widely available and it can be a houseplant, so I figured it should count for nomination purposes.

mr_subjunctive said...

Jeane:

Actually, you can mail cuttings. Usually 2-4 days by Priority Mail, within the U.S. (I don't recommend 3rd class shipping for plants: it takes too long.)

Paul said...

I too have seen Selaginella but only once in a blue moon.

Celosias -- can't say that I've ever seen them offered as houseplants either (again though I am in the US). Strictly used as annuals for outdoors.

Tom said...

I always thought majesty palm were the most common palm on the market, I can't believe so many people have recommended removing it. Home Depot has about 10,000,000 of them in stock all the time.

Also I see sensitive plant available on a semi-regular basis, a few places here always have it.

mr_subjunctive said...

Tom:

No kidding. I think the explanation lies in the fact that both of the people who say Ravenea should be dropped are in Europe. I mean, I don't know what the explanation is, just that I'm pretty sure the geography is significant.

The Lowe's stores here always have like eight pallets of the damn things at any given moment. It's awful.

Tom said...

Ah, that might explain it then. Geography is everything! When I worked at a greenhouse in St. Paul we sold Kentia palms in 8" for $100. The store manager (from Australia) said that they were so common there that an 8" pot would be like $10.

mr_subjunctive said...

Tom:

The entire year and a half that I was at the garden center, not only did we never have a kentia palm for sale, I never saw one for sale anywhere else, either. (Our supplier offered them, but the cheapest price I would have been allowed to put on it was $150 -- and that's for an 8" pot and a plant that's only 3-3.5 feet tall.)

As far as I know, I've only seen one kentia for sale in all of Iowa, since leaving that job. It was unreasonably cheap, but still more money than I had, and I think there were concerns about bugginess as well. Plus the ID was a little questionable, since I didn't have any other kentias to compare to.

phantom_tiger said...

Reading your list makes me realize my plant collection is too big! And now I have some for the wish list.

I agree you should add Gynura, and Lemons/oranges.

You might add passion flowers (passiflora). Maybe miniature peppers, which I saw being sold at the supermarket, and what I think is a Clusia (Rosea?) that I bought as a 12 inch houseplant, also at the supermarket.

I don't think I have seen purple waffle plants, the shoebutton tree, the coral berry or the gorgeous variegated ginger. I did notice you use different names for some stuff. I know number 9 as an elephant ear. Also interested to see the kalanchoe luciae/thrysiflora name thing here because just this week I was trying to figure out which is which.

I grow geraniums indoors. I was going to throw them outside but they flower consistently and it's nice in the winter. Some overwinter but I have a handful indoors. I'd say Coleus but I usually have them from seed.

Can a parlor palm be combined with the miniature palm? I have two different sizes but I see the mini ones for sale a lot.

mr_subjunctive said...

phantom_tiger:

Whoops. I thought everybody was done commenting, so I'd already picked the final list. About half of the recommendations you made were already there, though.

No. 9 looks like an elephant ear (Alocasia and Colocasia cvv.), in that the leaves are similarly shaped and sized, but Alocasia and Colocasia flowers are very different: see this post for an example.

I find it interesting that you mentioned Clusia: I've seen references to them here and there on-line, and I've seen them for sale twice (both times at hardware stores, weirdly enough), but I wasn't sure if anybody else ever ran across them or tried to grow them.

I have not yet been able to figure out the difference between Kalanchoe luciae and thyrsiflora from the foliage; according to this thread at the UBC forums, it may not be possible to do from the leaves alone. I get the impression that K. luciae is the more common one in cultivation, so if you have no flowers to go on, it's probably luciae.

phantom_tiger said...

No worries. I'm always last!

Oops. I didn't realize it was something else. That's because I don't own one. Looking it up now, how confusing.

I have only seen Clusia once, I think. At the time it wasn't labelled and I wondered if it was just a big kind of Peperomia or something. Wildly guessing because I'd never seen one before. It was $12. When I found it in a book it turned out to be more of a tree. It isn't very fussy. It likes to be moist, as far as I can tell, but it is partially shaded and doesn't care. Seems to be growing, slowly enough that it isn't totally obvious. I like it. Doesn't drop leaves. Doesn't so far turn yellow. Doesn't bolt and end up six feet tall. It just sits there. I hope it will overwinter and not rot or something.

I saw a Kalanchoe thrysiflora for sale but it was green not like red in the book. I thought was it really the same plant or does it turn red in strong light? But if it must have had strong light at the greenhouse, so maybe it wasn't really that kind. Then I found the San Marcos post. It's a bit like the Haworthia fasciata/attentuata thing. Or the Elephant Ear(s) thing. But if the growers don't know, I give up!

mr_subjunctive said...

phantom_tiger:

Pretty sure that both Kalanchoe luciae and K. thyrsiflora will turn red in strong enough light.

phantom_tiger said...

Good. Because I just bought a luciae today. Or at least, that's what it thinks it is.

Anonymous said...

#130 is 'Glo Go'

Anonymous said...

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