I got a lot of new plants this summer and fall, mostly through trades, and I have to say, I think Nautilocalyx forgetii was the best. It's a competitive field -- good arguments could also be made for Chirita 'Deco,' Pereskia aculeata 'Godseffiana,' Episcia 'Pink Acajou,' Billbergia 'Foster's Striate,' and Huernia zebrina -- but in the end, I lean toward Nautilocalyx because it's grown rapidly while still remaining a very handsome-looking plant. I mean, there may be all sorts of terrible things about to happen this winter, but for right now, I'm quite smitten.
Jul 2011. 3" (7.5 cm) pot.
October 2011. 4" (10 cm) pot.
When I watered it yesterday, I saw what look like branches, sticking out of the leaf axils. Don't know what this is going to do to the overall shape of the plant, but if it does branch, then I can start trying to propagate, which ought to be fun.
I can't figure out why N. forgetii aren't sold more often. I mean, they're shiny, which people like, and there's contrasting color. I can't imagine they're particularly tough to ship; I've certainly seen more fragile plants in stores. They seem to propagate easily, and they grow fast enough that it seems like they'd be cost-effective to mass-produce. I haven't had bug problems yet. I treat it pretty much like I treat everything else, and it's thrived, so it doesn't seem like fussiness is the problem. So I'm stumped. Hopefully I'll be able to say the same in six months.