Houseplants Grow Wild in the Philippines

Cordyline fruticosa:  This is a popular houseplant in the U.S.  It’s a native outdoor species in the tropical parts of Asia and in Hawaii, and it’s been introduced in Australia.  In Hawaii it was introduced quite some time ago- the Polynesians brought it with them as the rhizomes are edible (and said to be sweet) and the leaves were used to make the ‘grass’ hula skirts and also raincoats and rooves.   More below.

 

 

 

Things to notice:
The shape of the leaves (guide books and botanists would call them lance shaped)

The pattern to the way the leaves grow (spiral)

The colouring of the leaves (these are red, there are other varieties)

The colour and texture of the stem/trunk (unbranched, fairly smoothish, with leaf scars)

The colour of the flowers, number of petals, and the pattern of the way the flowers are joined together.  The word for this sort of dropping branches of flowers is ‘panicle.’

It is already spring here in the Philippines.  Later the flowers will probably be followed by small, round, reddish wine coloured fruit.

Other names: cabbage palm, good luck plant, palm lily, Hawaiian good luck, and Ti plant (there are still others, but those seem to be the most common English names.

More about this plant at Wikipedia

While this grows wild here in the tropics, because it is also a popular houseplant in the U.S. and Canada, you could study it at a local nursery or greenhouse, or bring one home.  If you are in the west and bring it home, know that it will probably not flower, and it would prefer high humidity.  If you have windows in your bathroom, that would be a good place for it.  From what I read, it is easy to propagate- it grows from stem cuttings.

Plant Division :
Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form :
Shrub

In the old days, it was considered to be in the agave plant family.  Now it’s part of the asparagas family.  This is because the newest method of nomenclature for plants is based on DNA rather than appearance.

Wikipedia:

The APG IV system of flowering plant classification is the fourth version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy for flowering plants (angiosperms) being developed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG). It was published in 2016, seven years after its predecessor the APG III system was published in 2009, and 18 years after the first APG system was published in 1998.[1] In 2009, a linear arrangement of the system was published separately;[2] the APG IV paper includes such an arrangement, cross-referenced to the 2009 one.[1]

 

 

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