Five Rare & Unusual Plants That Are Easy to Grow
By Laurelynn Martin
There is nothing more gratifying than rare and beautiful plants growing on your windowsill. And, if you’re like me, I love to hear the ooohh’s and the aaahh’s from friends as I show them why my plants are so special. Here are five of my favorites…
The first one that’s rare and unusual and has a lot of bragging rights is the Australian Red Lime (Citrus australasica hybrid). “A red lime?” questions my friend. That’s right, a red lime. Its small, oblong, burgundy fruit is stunning as it dangles off the compact branches, like ornaments hanging from a small potted tree. Then, when I slice open the fruit and the inside reveals little red juice vesicles, the rarity of this plants increases two-fold. We proceed to pop the juicy citrus beads in our mouths and enjoy a burst of sour flavor. Depending what friend is over, we may put the citrus beads on a salad or better yet, use them in an adult libation.
Australian Red Lime blooms in springtime once the plant reaches one-foot tall and the flowers have a sweetly scented fragrance that’s not your typical citrus floral scent. The red fruit starts to ripen around the holidays. Australian Red Lime has become a mainstay in my rare plant collection.
Another rare Southeast Asian plant, known for its highly fragrant flowers, is Night-Flowering Jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis). It grows as a shrub or small tree and produces small star-shaped blooms that are white with orange centers and smell like honey. Revered in India for its simple lesson to enjoy the here and now, the flowers bloom at night and by the next morning fall off the plant. However, during its blooming cycle from late spring through fall, Night-Flowering Jasmine blooms profusely and rarely has a night without a flower or two. This plant thrives when grown in a bright sunny spot in warm temperatures. In India, it’s also called Parijat.
Bird’s Nest Sansevieria ‘Gold Hahnii’ (Sansevieria hybrid) is grown for its buttery-yellow leaves with green vertical stripes that are held in a perfect rosette. This little sansevieria is rare for its unusual coloring and form. It is great for the busy gardener since it only needs to be watered once or twice a month. This small succulent grows 6-8” tall so it makes an ideal windowsill plant and can be placed in full or partial sun. It will adapt to just about any growing environment. If you’re tempted to water it more than twice a month, remember to dry the soil out between waterings to prevent root problems.
Any flower that has black in it is highly desirable and unusual. Desert Rose ‘Black Swirl’ (Adenium hybrid) has double red flowers with black petal edges but only on half the petals giving the effect of a rotating color palette. Flowering during the spring and summer months, Desert Rose ‘Black Swirl’ also a thickened caudex at the base adding to its year-round appeal. Adeniums thrive when temperatures are warm and sunny.
I’m always looking for colorful accent plants for my home, so I can change the look just by changing the plant’s placement. White Fusion Peacock Plant (Calathea hybrid) is one of those enticing, easy-to-grow, low light plants that add a bit of dazzle to my décor. Its white leaves have alternate streaks of light and dark green and the leaf undersides are purple adding more color and dimension to an already impressive plant. This is one of the best foliage, air-cleaning plants to brighten up a partially sunlit window.
Thanks for visiting Logee’s and learning about some of my favorite rare and unusual plants. Before you go, please be sure to request your free Logee’s catalog. You can learn more about the rare and unusual plants mentioned in this article below: