Tag Archives: Aglaonemas

Plant Find: Latest Aglaonema Additions

Aglaonemas are known for their patterned foliage with several shades of green, white and silver.  In Thailand, breeders are constantly creating new Aglaonemas with pink and red in the leaves.  Personally, I’m not a fan of these hybrids and I don’t collect any of those.  These hybrids get their red coloration from a natural species, Aglaonema rotundum.

My collection is made up of the more natural-looking Aglaonemas, even though many of them are hybrids.  One of my most recent finds is a variegated form where there are white patches overlaying the green pattern.  The plant was sold to me as variegated Aglaonema ‘Silver Queen.’  However, the leaf pattern does not match the common ‘Silver Queen’, which has lanceolate leaves with a primarily silver coloration and thin streaks of dark green mixed in.

Aglaonema 'Silver Queen' variegated
variegated Aglaonema, possibly Aglaonema 'Manila'

Most Aglaonemas have green petioles (stems).  Some have white and then there are a few that have either pink or russet.  I believe that russet is a mix of pink and green – kind of a brown potato color.  I think these petioles are really neat looking and this is the first Aglaonema I have had with the russet petioles.  (See the image below.)  This is yet another clue that this plant does not come from the common ‘Silver Queen’, but from something else entirely.  Most likely this mystery will never be solved for me.

Russet petioles of Aglaonema 'Silver Queen' variegated
Russet petioles of variegated Aglaonema

There are many Aglaonemas in my office building, maintained by a company that checks on them regularly and switches the plants out when they start to look ratty.  There is one Aglaonema that I have admired for a while and I recently got a stem of it to grow myself.  I have no idea what the name is.  The distinguishing features are the dark coloration of the leaves, which are somewhat lanceolate.  It looks similar to a plant I saw at the IAS show called ‘Shades.’  The lighter shades of green are also in an unusual pattern.

Aglaonema NOID from my office
Aglaonema NOID from my office, possibly Aglaonema 'Shades'

The last recent addition to my Aglaonema collection is one which grows as a creeping rhizome, which is different from my other Aglaonemas, which grown on an upright stem.  This plant was sold to me as Aglaonema costatum f. immaculatum.  I sent a photo to my friend, Peter Boyce, who is a career taxonomist in Malaysia.  He told me the plant is actually Aglaonema brevispathum, a member of the Chamaecaulon section, which has this characteristic growth habit.  He studied these plants in the field from Myanmar through Thailand to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, in lowland dry dipterocarp forest, often along on river banks.   How lucky am I to have Peter to answer my questions!?!  That’s one of the great things about the IAS.  There are people who have very extensive knowledge and a great willingness to share that knowledge.

Aglaonema brevispathum
Aglaonema brevispathum

I was a little worried that I would have trouble growing this particular plant, since it differs from the ones that I know grow well in my care.  But it seems to be doing well, enjoying the environment of my greenhouse and putting out some new leaves.

New Algaonemas and Dieffenbachias

Just a month before the IAS show, where I expect to be purchasing some aroids, I was sent a box from my fellow Aglaonema addict and friend, Russ.  He sent me 8 wonderful plants: 5 Aglaonemas and 3 Dieffenbachias.

Aglaonema 'Brilliant'
Aglaonema 'Brilliant'

Several of these new Aglaonemas have the distinctive white petioles (leaf stems) and center ribs.  This includes Aglaonema ‘Brilliant’ (above) and Aglaonema ‘White Rain’ (below).

Aglaonema 'White Rain'
Aglaonema 'White Rain'

Christie’s favorite plant out of this batch is Aglaonema ‘Key Largo’, which has relatively wide leaves that are deep green, with a lot of silver in the middle of the leaves and some small patches of silver/green mixed in there.  I wonder if Christie has a subconscious favoritism here because of her excitement about our trip to the Florida Keys next month!

Aglaonema 'Key Largo'
Aglaonema 'Key Largo'

One of these plants comes from a seedling that Russ acquired from Aglaonema breeder and author Frank Brown.  The seedling is from ‘Queen of Siam’, but it has green petioles, whereas the registered hybrid ‘Queen of Siam’ has white petioles.

Aglaonema 'Queen of Siam'
Aglaonema 'Queen of Siam'
Aglaonema 'Cassandra'
Aglaonema 'Cassandra'

The first Dieffenbachia is actually a species, the only species Russ sent this time.  It is Dieffenbachia tarabitensis, which is native to Ecuador.  It is primarily a dark green, but there is a very small amount of variegation near the center rib.  The most distinctive feature is the mottled petioles.  Can you see how the stem leading to the leaves is not solid in color?

Dieffenbachia tarabitensis
Dieffenbachia tarabitensis
Dieffenbachia 'Paradise'
Dieffenbachia hybrid. Probably D. 'Paradise'

These last two are somewhat unknowns.  Russ thinks the one above is probably the hybrid Dieffenbachia ‘Paradise’ but he doesn’t know whether the other is even a species or hybrid.  Maybe I can get some help figuring out that one.  It’s actually my favorite plant in the batch since it is so unique.  The leaves are almost entirely silver, with a white midrib and a couple blotches of white and green on the leaves.  You can also see the parallel veins in green, arching away from the midrib.

unknown Dieffenbachia
Unidentified Dieffenbachia. Could be a hybrid or a species.

It’s so great to have friends interested in growing these plants.  While an Aglaonema is not impossible to find, it is really hard to find one with the correct name attached and to find a location with much of a selection.  The species and older hybrids are found only in collections.  And with generous friends you can grow your collection without spending a lot of money.

Aroid Photo Update

It’s been a while since I have posted updates on some of my plants that I’ve had for a year or two.  So here are some of my Aroids, which are doing quite well:

Aglaonema 'Gold Dust'
Aglaonema 'Gold Dust'

Though Aglaonema ‘Gold Dust’ has not grown a lot, it has recently put out a new offset, which I would prefer over height anyway, since I just have one stalk of it.

Aglaonema 'Royal Ripple'
Aglaonema 'Royal Ripple'

My Aglaonema ‘Royal Ripple’ has been putting out many offsets and is now filling the pot rather nicely.  Some of my other Aglaonemas are also doing really well: A. ‘Peacock’, A. ‘BJ Freeman’, A. ‘Abidjan’, and A. ‘Silver Bay’

Anthurium barbadoense
Anthurium barbacoasense

The Anthurium barbacoasense which I brought back from the April meeting of the MidAmerica IAS chapter is growing really well.  I need to figure out a good system for supporting it.  I probably just need to set up a totem for it.  For now, it has been growing leaning against a taller pot for support.  This plant was collected by Dr. Tom Croat in Colombia.

Epipremnum pinnatum v. 'Cebu Blue'
Epipremnum pinnatum v. 'Cebu Blue'

My Epipremnum pinnatum v. ‘Cebu Blue’ is one of my favorites!  It has been growing very steadily and has latched on to the wood totem I made for it.  Recently this plant was knocked over in a wind storm, which caused me to lose a leaf or two and some of the plant lost its grip on the wood, but the plant was mostly undamaged.  I’m so glad this one is doing well.  You can see from one of the neighboring plants that I am a sucker for this foliage color.  I just love the blue-silver shade.

Monstera obliqua
Monstera obliqua

I’ve had luck off and on with my Monstera obliqua, but this set of cuttings really took off recently and I gave it a totem to climb, which is going pretty well.  It has produced some very large leaves down at the base of the plant, which I didn’t expect.

Philodendron '69686'
Philodendron '69686'

My Philodendron ‘69686’ is growing very well.  It has been putting out leaves profusely, one right on top of the other.  According to Steve Lucas, this plant is likely a naturally-occurring hybrid from Brazil.  I’m glad it got out before they clamped down on exports of all plant life!

unknown Philodendron hybrid
unknown Philodendron hybrid

My unknown hybrid Philodendron from cuttings at my office has been growing really well and attached to the totem.  It’s already taller than the totem I made, so I’ll need to come up with something taller or start cutting it back.  It would be neat if I could make a really tall totem for this one and just let it keep growing taller.

Philodendron florida?
Philodendron florida?

This Philodendron was searching for something to climb, so I recently fixed up a totem for this one and have it temporarily attached with string.  I really like the texture of the stems of this plant.  This plant was a gift from Russ Hammer, who told me that it is called Philodendron florida, but I haven’t been able to find much information on that name.

Philodendron mayoi
Philodendron mayoi - with two happy pups in the background

My crowing glory right now is my Philodendron mayoi.  About 6 months ago I found a really nice piece of wood that was contorted and scarred and it was scheduled for destruction, along with a bunch of other tree limbs.  So I held onto it and waited for the perfect use.  One day I realized it would make a really nice climbing apparatus for one of my Aroids.  And I had just the perfect plant!  The P. mayoi latched on very quickly and has roots wrapping all around this unique branch.  It’s a work of art, in my opinion!  I really don’t think the pictures do it justice.

Philodedron mayoi
Philodedron mayoi
Philodendron 'Rojo'
Philodendron 'Rojo'

My Philodendron ‘Rojo’ hybrid is one of the few Meconostigma self-heading (upright, self-supported, non-climbing) Philodendrons in my collection.  This plant has been growing slow and steady since I got it sometime last year.

Philodendron bipinnatifidum?
Philodendron bipinnatifidum?

The other Meconostigma Philodendron in my collection has not been identified.  For a while I was calling it Philodendron selloum, but I’m not sure that is correct.  It might be Philodendron bipinnatifidum.  My plant has stayed about the same size since I got it in a trade about 3 years ago.  It puts out new leaves and loses old ones, but stays about the same size.

Philodendron tortum
Philodendron tortum

My Philodendron tortum is one of my newer plants.  It has been growing really well.  I will have to set up a totem for it soon.  I guess that will make it a “tortum totem.”

Syngonium wendlandii
Syngonium wendlandii

Syngonium wendlandii is probably the most attractive Syngonium that I have ever seen.  This plant, like my other Syngoniums, really likes water.

Bring your plants to work day

I’m not actually suggesting a new holiday.  It’s just a clever name for my post.  Although I wouldn’t mind this being a holiday – I already celebrate it everyday.

The National Weather Center - across the street from where I work.
The National Weather Center - across the street from where I work.

[For those who are interested, I work on the research campus at the University of Oklahoma.  The research campus is made up of about six buildings built over the last 5 years.  These buildings are filled with academics, government groups and private companies (like the one I work for).  The anchor of the research campus is the National Weather Center.]

Aglaonema and a palm tree in the fourier of my office building
Aglaonema and a palm tree in the fourier of my office building

My office building (like the others on the campus) is a nice, new facility that has lots of plants in the hallways and office suites.  Plants are added for decoration, as well as to help purify air in the office environment.  This is a pretty trendy thing nowadays, and I guess it has been for quite a while.  What’s cool for me is that some of my favorite plants are those common plants kept as easy-care foliage plants (such as the Aglaonema pictured above).

Ficus tree, Sanseveira (short pot) and a very cool Philodendron
Ficus tree, Sanseveira (short pot) and a very cool Philodendron

All of the plants are in really nice, huge pots.  And the plants are grouped in twos or threes.  This is my favorite grouping.  I walk by it each morning on my way up the stairs.  The Philodendron is so cool.  I think I might have to ask one of the plant maintainers if I could get a cutting…

Close-up of the really cool Philodendron in the stairwell.
Close-up of the really cool Philodendron in the stairwell.

Other common plants in the office building are Dracaenas, Epipremnum ivies and large Bird of Paradise.  Here is a nice grouping of two Dracaenas in the hallway.

Two tall Dracaena warneckii plants in the hallway.
Two tall Dracaena warneckii plants in the hallway.

Of course, being the planty guy that I am, all of these great plants scattered throughout the building aren’t enough for me.  I have my own set of plants on my desk: Philodendron hederaceum (‘Micans’), Polyscias scutellaria, Scindapsus pictus, Aglaonema sp.  I used to have a Philodendron ‘Brazil’ on my desk, but it got too large and had to be taken home.

My shield Aralia (Polyscias scutellaria)
A shield Aralia (Polyscias scutellaria) on my desk next to the computer monitor.

The shield Aralia was a birthday gift the first year I started working here, so it’s now about 2 years old and has grown a lot.  I’ve heard that these plants are a little finicky and hard to keep.  No doubt it probably would not be as healthy as it is today if I wasn’t looking at it 5 days a week!  The office environment (and my constant watching eye) has apparently suited it well.

Philodendron hederaceum Micans
Philodendron hederaceum 'Micans'

My Philodendron ‘Micans’ is starting to grow as rapidly as my Philodron ‘Brazil’ did.  It had to be taken home when our company moved and my desk space was reduced.  I really like it’s rate of growth, but I hope the ‘Micans’ can stick around a while longer.

Scindapsus pictus and Aglaonema
Scindapsus pictus and Aglaonema on my desk.

In addition to all sorts of health benefits in the office space, plants just make me happy and my work space would be depressing without them.

Do you keep any plants in your workspace?  Or does anyone else in your office?


 

Recent Aroid Acquisitions

I have had three recent acquisitions of new plants from generous friends.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my trip to see Steve Lucas’s tropical atrium.  I mentioned that Steve was kind enough to take cuttings of several of his plants and shared them with me.  I have also received some plants (most of them Aroids) through the mail recently from some of my plant friends.  Plant friends are great!  I thought I would bundle all my new plants into one post.  Most of them are Aroids, but there are a couple of plants from outside the Aroid family.  Here’s all of them:

Philodendron mayoi
Philodendron mayoi from Steve Lucas

Steve has A LOT of Aroids, many of them Philodendrons.  This particular Philodendron (P. mayoi) was named after a noted botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London – Dr. Simon Mayo.

Philodendron erubescens
Philodendron erubescens from Steve Lucas

Philodendron erubescens has really neat cataphylls that roll up into tight coils.  Many cataphylls are herbaceous, eventually turning papery and falling away.  These cataphylls are more persistent though.  The inflorescence of this Philodendron is a really beautiful red.  There are pictures on Steve’s website, if you’re interested.

Philodendron 69686
Philodendron 69686 from Steve Lucas

This is likely a naturally-occurring hybrid from Brazil, commonly mislabelled as Philodendron Joepii (named after Joep Moonen).  There has been much confusion regarding this plant and it has yet to be given a name.  It retains the number until a registered cultivar name is assigned.

Philodendron mexicanum
Philodendron mexicanum from Steve Lucas

This is beautiful Philodendron with a wonderful leaf shape and a nice red mottling on the undersides of the leaves.  By the way, Steve told me that noted Aroid collected Roberto Burle-Marx only collected plants for their interesting leaf shapes and didn’t care what their names were.  I found that very interesting.  There are a number of plants named after him.

Philodendron biliettiae
Philodendron biliettiae from Steve Lucas

This Philodendron has a bright orange stem and very distinctive, long leaves.

Philodendron atabopoense
Philodendron atabopoense from Steve Lucas

This Philodendron has a really cool coloration.  The undersides of the leaves, which you can’t see from the picture, are red.

Alocasia gageana
Alocasia gageana from Steve Lucas

Steve has so many of these Alocasias spreading in his atrium every year that he has to rip them out and throw them away by the end of the summer season!  Can you believe that?  I helped him by removing one plant this Spring. 🙂

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma cuttings from Beth
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma cuttings from Beth

I have enjoyed pictures of this Aroid for quite a while.  I went in search of a plant and found a friend, as well! 🙂  A fellow plant enthusiast (Beth in Mississippi) agreed to send me a cutting.  Actually she sent three and included some more surprises in the box, as well!

large variegated Monstera deliciosa cutting from Beth
large variegated Monstera deliciosa cutting from Beth

Monsteras are wonderful Aroids, best known for their leaf fenestrations.  Beth sent me this large cutting of Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ (below), which is a gorgeous hybrid.  Apparently she has several pots of this plant that each have 5 stems this size!

large Philodendron Pink Princess cutting from Beth
large Philodendron 'Pink Princess' cutting from Beth

She also threw in two really cool non-Aroid plants – Synadenium grantii ‘rubra’ and a variegated Pedilanthus tithymaloides.

2 stems of Synadenium grantii rubra from Beth
2 stems of Synadenium grantii 'rubra' from Beth - rooting in Vermiculite

Beth told me that Synadenium roots very easily and quickly.  I have planted my two stems in moist Vermiculite, which has been the best rooting substance I have used in the past.  Beth also warned me to be careful with the sap of this plant, which will burn the skin worse than anything else she has ever encountered.  Vegetable oil can be used to remove the sap.

Pedilanthus tithymaloides from Beth
Pedilanthus tithymaloides from Beth

After a little research I found that Pedilanthus is a synonym for Euphorbia.  [I have a gigantic Euphorbia post prepared for Wednesday.  Stay tuned!]  This plants is sometimes called “Devil’s Backbone” or more favorably “Japanese Poinsettia.”  If I’m lucky, it will eventually produce small red or pink flowers at the top of the stems.

Philodendron hastatum from mr_subjunctive
Philodendron hastatum from mr_subjunctive

A fellow blogger noticed that I had a plant on my wish list that he had seen locally.  He bought the plant, sent it to me and I reimbursed him for his troubles.  This Philodendron has a different name everywhere you see it.  It is commonly called Philodendron glaucophyllum (or glaucaphyllum), though I am told the true species name is hastatum.  Some common names used are “Silver Metal Philodendron” or “Blue Philodendron.”  Regardless, it is a very cool plant, and this one is in great condition.

Aglaonema Gold Dust division from mr_subjunctive
Aglaonema 'Gold Dust' division from mr_subjunctive

Mr. Subjunctive had a large Aglaonema that he didn’t mind sharing.  He split off a large division and sent it to me.  He also included another cool, little foliage plant in my box – Pellionia pulchra.  He didn’t provide it’s name right away, to allow me to track it down.  I think I had seen pictures of this plant, but it took me some time before I got to the source.  Along the way I thought it might be in the Cissus genus or possibly even a Begonia.  My wife noted that the leaves are asymmetrical, which is true of all Begonia leaves.  Eventually I found the identity in one of my plant books – Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants.  It’s a Pellionia pulchra, which is in the same family (Urticaceae) as another genus of common foliage houseplants – Pilea.  Pileas are the plants commonly called “Aluminum,” “Watermelon” and “Friendship” plants.

Pellionia pulchra from mr_subjunctive
Pellionia pulchra from mr_subjunctive

That’s a lot of new additions!  Thanks, Steve, mr_subjunctive and Beth, for the wonderful plants. 🙂