Happy National Houseplant Appreciation Day! Bad Internet Plant ID

January 10, 2024

Can you trust the internet to ID your plants?

Plant ID online is like…

Bad lip reading for plants! 🌿🪴🌱🫦

To celebrate National Houseplant Appreciation Day (no for real, it’s a thing because we say it is), and the start of my UCLA Indoor Plants course this week, where we’re learning the basics of plant nomenclature, I’m gifting you a bit of clarity on some very common, very bad misidentification of some of your favorite chartreuse philodendron. Tread carefully with all those plant apps and websites (bring a machete)…cuz it’s a jungle out there

That heartleaf philodendron isn’t really ‘Lemon Lime’ OR ‘Neon’ it’s Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium ‘Aureum’. The cultivar name ‘Lemon Lime’ belongs to a cultivar of Philodendron domesticum. An official cultivar name may only be associated with ONE species of the same genus. You don’t get to just pick the one you like!

‘Neon’ is a cultivar name used with a Pothos, Epripremnum aureum ‘Neon’. Now, you can have one selection of Epipremnum with the cultivar name ‘Neon” and ONE selection of Philodendron with the same name ‘Neon’…but not in the same genus. That said, folks still get it wrong with ‘Neon’ when using it with Philodendron. Any web search will server you up with any number of incorrect identifications and incorrect cultivar names.


Cheers to your botanical factoid of the day!

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