Big Box Boo-Boos (as usual)
I live in the Reno, Nevada area. Our hardiness zones run from 5 to 7. We have a very short growing season (in reality there is NO first or last frost date--it could freeze/snow any day of the year), and average nighttime temperatures are 30-40 degrees colder than daytime highs. We don't get nighttime temps above the high 70's. Ever.
Okay--so on to the Big Box thing--the buyers for the local Big Boxes (Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart) are all in the California Bay Area or Sacramento area. They send all kinds of things that aren't appropriate for our area. And then there are the houseplants--I never know what treasures will turn up. The most recent oddness (and yes, I bought one) was Alpinia zerumbet, the variegated one, in 10" pots for about $15.00, and sold as a house plant.
I've seen tree ferns (Dicksonia spp)--are the buyers INSANE-- tender Passiflora spp. sold as hardy vines, Loropetalum, Crape Myrtles, you name it. I suppose it's a good thing the big box stores put a one-year guarantee on all their plants, because the mortality rate must be staggering.