Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Algaonemas and Dieffenbachias

Just a month before the IAS show, where I expect to be purchasing some aroids, I was sent a box from my fellow Aglaonema addict and friend, Russ.  He sent me 8 wonderful plants: 5 Aglaonemas and 3 Dieffenbachias.

Aglaonema 'Brilliant'
Several of these new Aglaonemas have the distinctive white petioles (leaf stems) and center ribs.  This includes Aglaonema 'Brilliant' (above) and Aglaonema 'White Rain' (below).

Aglaonema 'White Rain'

Christie's favorite plant out of this batch is Aglaonema 'Key Largo', which has relatively wide leaves that are deep green, with a lot of silver in the middle of the leaves and some small patches of silver/green mixed in there.  I wonder if Christie has a subconscious favoritism here because of her excitement about our trip to the Florida Keys next month!

Aglaonema 'Key Largo'
One of these plants comes from a seedling that Russ acquired from Aglaonema breeder and author Frank Brown.  The seedling is from 'Queen of Siam', but it has green petioles, whereas the registered hybrid 'Queen of Siam' has white petioles.

Aglaonema 'Queen of Siam'
Aglaonema 'Cassandra'
The first Dieffenbachia is actually a species, the only species Russ sent this time.  It is Dieffenbachia tarabitensis, which is native to Ecuador.  It is primarily a dark green, but there is a very small amount of variegation near the center rib.  The most distinctive feature is the mottled petioles.  Can you see how the stem leading to the leaves is not solid in color?

Dieffenbachia tarabitensis
Dieffenbachia hybrid.  Probably D. 'Paradise'
These last two are somewhat unknowns.  Russ thinks the one above is probably the hybrid Dieffenbachia 'Paradise' but he doesn't know whether the other is even a species or hybrid.  Maybe I can get some help figuring out that one.  It's actually my favorite plant in the batch since it is so unique.  The leaves are almost entirely silver, with a white midrib and a couple blotches of white and green on the leaves.  You can also see the parallel veins in green, arching away from the midrib.

Unidentified Dieffenbachia.  Could be a hybrid or a species.
It's so great to have friends interested in growing these plants.  While an Aglaonema is not impossible to find, it is really hard to find one with the correct name attached and to find a location with much of a selection.  The species and older hybrids are found only in collections.  And with generous friends you can grow your collection without spending a lot of money.


  1. I can't remember the name of the last one but I'm pretty sure it's a hybrid. We used to sell one that looked just like it at the greenhouse I used to work at. I wish I had better luck with aglos, White Rain is one of my favorite houseplants ever but I couldn't grow it if my life depended on it. Oh well... better leave them to the people who can!

  2. Hi Zach. They're all beautiful! You need to remember your NC friend when they're big enough to divide. Hint, hint. Hahahahahahahaha, of course, I'll have to do the same. I have D. Camoflage and a couple more. Leslie and I think it's D. Sterling, and I have another. Don't know what it is. Need to post it on the IAS site to maybe get it identified.

    Too bad Words with Friends won't take Latin plant names. :-)

  3. Hi Zach. Just in case you're still interested in ID-ing your dieffenbachias: the 1st dieffenbachia is "Star Bright" and the 2nd one is "Star White". Take a look at http://ffsp.net/dieffenbachia.html.