Wednesday, June 1, 2011

List: Houseplants Which Have Yellow Flowers

With most of these I don't have pictures of whole plants in bloom, and in some cases, cultivars with yellow flowers are rare and hard to find, so the inclusion of a plant in the list doesn't mean that it's usually found with yellow flowers, only that yellow is a color which is known to be possible. For the pictured plants, I have gone with plants which usually or always bloom yellow, for whatever that might be worth to you.

Aloe vera. (A couple flower pictures available at the link.)

Aphelandra squarrosa.

Astrophytum myriostigma.

Columnea orientandina. (The cuttings I mentioned recently are still alive so far, by the way.)

Faucaria spp. (I know at least some have yellow flowers; I doubt all of them do but didn't bother to look it up.)

Gynura aurantiaca. (Photo of flowers here.) You wouldn't actually want the plant to flower -- the blooms smell unpleasant -- but it still meets the criterion to be included in the list, so it's in the list.

Hamatocactus setispinus.

Hatiora salicornioides. Pictures of single flowers here, though there are much more impressive multi-flower photos elsewhere on-line. My plant wasn't, let's say, fully committed to blooming. Though considering the circumstances, I'm pretty tickled that it bloomed at all.

Justicia brandegeana.

Leuchtenbergia principis. Photos of a flower here.

For the recommends and anti-recommends, I'm sort of at a loss, because I haven't grown several of these (Aphelandra, Faucaria, Hamatocactus, Justicia) and have only begun to grow (Columnea) or have had mixed luck growing (Astrophytum, Aloe, Gynura) the others. But if I must . . .

I'm very happy with my Leuchtenbergias, and they seem happy with me too, so I'd recommend them to other people. Likewise, I've rarely had problems with Hatiora salicornioides, and think it's a very nice plant. For the third recommend, I'll go with Astrophytum myriostigma, because although we've had problems, I think the problems were almost entirely my fault -- it was top-heavy, and I kept knocking it out of the pot, and then I also was watering it too much in the winter, while the plant was cold, so I was basically begging for it to rot out. Which it did.

Speaking of rot -- my anti-recommend would be Faucaria. I haven't had much direct experience with them, but my understanding is that they're inclined to rot out at the drop of a . . . drop of water, much like Lithops cvv. I don't think it's that they're particularly difficult plants; it's more that beginners tend to show their enthusiasm by overcaring, so plants that just want to be left alone aren't going to be a good match. Plus, I suspect Faucarias also want an unreasonable amount of light, though again, I don't have much direct experience.

Not pictured:
  • Abutilon cvv. (a few cvv.)
  • a few Adenium cvv. are yellow, though reds and pinks are a lot more common (reader suggestion)
  • Allamanda cathartica
  • the occasional very rare Anthurium cvv.
  • Astrophytum ornatum
  • some Begonia cvv.
  • Bougainvillea cvv.
  • some Brugmansia/Datura cvv. (reader suggestion)
  • some orchids in the Cattleya alliance (C., Blc., Lc., Slc., Pot., etc.)
  • some Chirita cvv. (reader suggestion)
  • a few Clivia cvv.
  • a few Columnea cvv.
  • some Dendrobium cvv. (tend to be greenish-yellow, though, at least the ones I remember)
  • Echinocactus grusonii
  • a few Epiphyllum cvv.
  • some Episcia cvv.
  • Euphorbia grandicornis, and other succulent Euphorbias like E. obesa and E. flanaganii, usually have small yellow or yellow-green flowers; the true flowers of most/all Euphorbia species are yellow, though in a lot of cases (E. pulcherrima, E. milii) the bracts overwhelm the true flowers
  • some Euphorbia milii cvv., bracts included, though those I've seen have been more of a pastel yellow
  • some or all Fenestraria spp.
  • Fittonia cvv. true flowers are yellow-white
  • some Guzmania cvv. have yellow bracts; I'm not sure what color the true flowers usually are, but yellow is a possibility there as well
  • some Heliconia cvv. have yellow bracts and/or true flowers
  • some Hibiscus rosa-sinensis cvv.
  • some Kalanchoe blossfeldiana cvv.
  • some Lithops spp. (I think they're all either yellow or white)
  • Ludisia discolor (partly; most of the flower is white)
  • some Mammillaria spp.
  • I've seen a yellow Miltoniopsis orchid picture on-line, though never in person
  • a few Nematanthus cvv.?
  • some Oncidium alliance orchids (Colm., Alcra., Alxra., Bak., Colm., Gdlra., etc.)
  • some Opuntia spp.
  • a few Oxalis spp. and cvv., particularly O. hedysariodes and cultivars derived from it. You may also be growing O. stricta without meaning to, as it's a common nursery container weed. (reader suggestion)
  • some Pachypodium spp. (though not necessarily the ones in the profile) (reader suggestion)
  • Passiflora citrina; maybe other Passifloras?
  • some Phalaenopsis and Doritaenopsis cvv.
  • some Plumeria cvv., though it's debatable whether Plumeria is really a houseplant or not
  • a very few Saintpaulia cvv.
  • some Schlumbergera cvv.
  • a few Streptocarpus cvv.; the first one to come up in a Google image search is S. 'Seren' (reader suggestion)
  • some Thunbergia alata cvv.
  • some Tropaeolum majus cvv.
  • Uncarina spp. are usually yellow, though there are some pink ones out there as well (reader suggestion)
  • some Vriesea cvv. have yellow bracts and/or yellow true flowers
  • the true flowers of Vriesea splendens are yellow, though the longer-lived, more dramatic bracts are red
  • some Zantedeschia cvv.
  • some Zingiber spp. (reader suggestion)

I'm sure I've forgotten all kinds of things, so if you can think of others, say something in the comments.


Nick said...

Some Pachypodium species have yellow flowers (rosulatum, cactipes, brevicaule, densiflorum, horombense and a few other ones)
Uncarina species mostly have yellow flowers.
Some Adenium are kinda yellow.
I'm sure there are Streptocarpus hybrids which are approaching yellow too...

Bom said...

I'm saddened by the part about the Lithops. Several plant fanatics/acquaintances had their lithops die on them these past weeks. I'm wondering now if they might really be difficult to care for. They have been on my "must-chase" list for some time but I think I will have to move them down in priority for now.

Paul said...

Yellow brugmansias are downright awesome. They grow like mad in the Bay area, I was delighted and disgusted to discover 2 weeks ago. My miserable little potted ones never get bigger than 3ft tall. But I still love them.

Sentient Meat said...

Hi Mr S, Bom,

Yes, I find lithops difficult, too. Faucaria seem to stay alive for me for a few years, then I get overconfident and it fails.

I think the problem with lithops is that they take significantly different culture from other ornamentals, even compared with my other cactus and succulents. If you feed or water them too much or the wrong time, they swell, deform, crack, or rot -- sometimes all these at once.

If you want to build your skills growing Lithops spp or Faucaria spp, I can think of no better guide than Steven Hammer's delightfully written...

The New Mastering the Art of Growing Mesembs

Anonymous said...

I think actual flowers of poinsettia are yellow. They are usually hidden in red bracts.

Sentient Meat said...

As far as astrophytums, I recommend A ornatum and capricorne more than beautiful (but more touchy) myriostigma, which under my care tends to come down with strange, unsightly, dark spots. I think my A asterias are doing okay... though not as gorgeous as the day I bought them.

Pat said...

You can take the question mark off the Bougainvilleas, I saw loads of yellow ones in Spain. It is the bracts that are coloured but I am quite happy to call that a part of the flower.

I am sure I have seen some yellow Narcissus and Chrysanthemums grown indoors :O)

Nick said...

I used to struggle with Lithops, until i started putting them in bigger pots. They like water in summer which can be tapered off in autumn when they will flower and then dryness (almost total dryness) in winter when they will shrink a bit. They need bright sunlight all year to keep the bodies from becoming etiolated and more prone to rot. But the key thing seems to be to give them some root run and try and keep the roots cooler. Most of the commercially available ones here are in tiny pots, which they don't like.
Oh, and some Chirita have yellow flowers too (C. sp "New York" comes to mind)

Anonymous said...

The red variety of oxalis (shamrock) has lovely yellow flowers.

Anonymous said...

Zingiber officinale has yellow flowers, as do some other zingibers.