Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random plant event: Pilea 'Moon Valley' flower

Yes, we've seen Pilea flowers before. A couple times. But these are different: they're pink.

They're borderline attractive, even, though they have the same basic molar shape as the Pilea cadierei flowers did. Click on the picture for a really really close-up look.

'Moon Valley' is a plant I was reluctant to buy at first, because I'd read accounts of people finding it difficult. It doesn't seem so bad, though. I suspect it's more or less the same as for P. cadierei: give it adequate humidity and bright light and pinch it back occasionally, and you should be good.

I didn't do anything to try to get it to bloom; it just did. Even some cuttings I'd started in a little bottle of water are blooming. It must just be time to bloom.

'Moon Valley' is kind of a problem taxonomically. The tag in the plant I bought called it P. mollis, and Dave's Garden has it as both P. mollis and P. involucrata (twice). I personally lean toward mollis: this is too different from the other plants I've seen identified as involucrata. For the time being, I'm hedging my bets and just calling it P. 'Moon Valley,' with no species designation at all.


Unknown said...

I have never seen a flower on a Pilea 'Moon Valley' before. In fact, I hadn't even seen a real pilea in so long. It seems that around here, the indoor plants on offer tend to be a standard few dozen and very little out of the ordinary anymore. These used to be common, but not now. Curious.

Anonymous said...

My tag calls it a Pilea imperialis.

Trish Lindsey Jaggers said...

I have two Pilea plants, purchased separately (one in 2008; the other in 2009). Both were on the "cheap-because-they-are-near-dead" rack at a local Lowe's store. (I try to "save" any plant, LOL!)

Anyway, the first one, the 2008 one, rewarded me with tiny pink blossoms. Since it was my first Pilea, I thought that was the norm.

The 2009 "rescue" rewarded me with sort-of dull, yellowish flowers. I wondered, "Why yellow?" That's when I did a bit of research and found that my second plant was more "normal" than my first.

It's interesting to note that the plant with the pink flowers has been healthier, by far, than the one with the yellow flowers. AND its foliage has a luscious deep-red cast to it.

I can share photos, if you wish. My email is if you wish to correspond about these pink-blossoming "mutants." And I agree with you, after research, that they are not the norm but rather some splendid variety that has sprung up amongst the norm.

I think you are right in not assigning a permanent label to these. They are in a class of their own. Delightfully so. :)


Isabelle said...

My Pilea Mollis has both pink and pale yellow flowers. I've had it for only a few months. What pot size would you recommend for my plant

mr_subjunctive said...


Big enough to fit the roots, but not much bigger than that. I can't give you a specific size, because knowing that it's flowering doesn't tell me anything about how big the root ball is.

Tracy said...

I have a P. mollis P. involucrata P. involucrata (twice). Actually, I have two of them. I bought them twice. Both of my little friends called out to me from the clearance rack at Lowe's. Imagine that. I have wondered if they should have been named P. Captain Crunch, as they both have tendencies to exhibit crunchiness around the leaf edges at times. I should probably attempt to increase the humidity level for them. I find my P. Plants to be interesting little characters.

Kuraiku said...

I literally just got mine maybe two or three months ago, repotted it with a few succulents and just let it do its thing. I was terrified thinking the pink flowers was a fungus! Then noticed that they were attached to stems and thought...maybe new leaves? I had never had a plant like this before. To see it flower so soon is impressive, to say the least (my rex begonia, after two or three years, has only just flowered now- same with my poinsettia, let alone that I didn't even know these could flower). Gosh I'm lucky it's nothing bad!