Silly commercial growers....

snappyguyMarch 26, 2012

I was at a big box store today and noticed they had several hanging baskets of Columnea with labels on them that said "Goldfish Plant." This I didn't find surprising, but underneath the line saying "Goldfish Plant" it said "Nematanthus linearis." One, this plant was definitely a Columnea, not a Nematanthus. Two, there is no species named Nematanthus linearis. There is a Columnea linearis, but it wasn't that plant either. Recently, I've seen Aeschynanthus longicaulis sold as A. "Black Pagoda." I've Also seen Nematanthus 'Black Gold' sold as N. 'Black' too. It amazes me how poorly growers keep track of what they have, and it makes me wonder if anything we get at the garden center is what it says it is.

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irina_co(z5 CO)

Lets stay positive! Big Box Store carries a very good selection of gesneriads.

General public really doesn't care for the Latin names.

The flashier the marketing name, the more chance the people will buy and enjoy it. So - "flying dolphins" instead of Columnea.

"Tropical Angel" grows really good plants to distribute through big box stores, but they cannot make the name right 99% of the time.

You and I would prefer a little sticker that would say: Columnea linearis "Purple Robe" prefers light soil, morning sun window, and consistent watering but no water sitting in a saucer. Enjoy."

But it would probably eat into their profit margin and it would never happen.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:30PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

You're right, irina. And equally annoying is the habit of some growers to turn out plants with different catchy names year on year - leading me, at least, to think I've come upon something new, not something I bought years ago and didn't like too well then. :-(

I wish we could have labels like your example.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:45AM
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It is nice to see Gessies in the box stores because it exposes people who might never see those plants to them. A lot of it seems to be ignorance on the grower's part though. I have an Aeschynanthus gracilis from Exotic Angel. They do provide very good care tags and even include the Latin binomial nomenclature. However, the plant was labeled 'Aeschynanthus radicans v. Gracilis.' They almost got it right.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 1:21PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Aha - Exotic Angel - you got it right and I didn't.

Hear, hear.

Nowdays - even if you get a plant that has a made-name - you can always post a pic on the Gardenweb house plants and ask the community - and somebody will come up with genus and family - and you can proceed from there.

So - even if you get a plant named a "money tree" or "guppy face" - you can track it very efficiently and find instructions on how NOT to kill it.

So - the more different plants - the merrier.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 1:33PM
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I order the plants for our box store in the north east and Im a long time gesneriad fanatic. I wish I had more of an opportunity to get more Gessies but they arent always available to us. Once and awhile Ill get them in hanging baskets.
Its the growers who label, not the store/chain . Once and awhile, I do find printing mistakes which drives me nuts. For the most of the time, if it contains a tag its right. I speak to the growers on a regular basis. Most contacts are employees in front of a computer with general if any plant knowledge.
Its funny when a customer does want to know the actual latin name or identify a cross and they are shocked I can answer.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:07PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Dory - you are a saint! With a healthy sense of humor! Otherwise they would drive you nuts long ago.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:14PM
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