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Plant/shrub ID

9 posts in this topic

Today I found this shrubby plant for 1/2 price at an unnamed location. I liked that it appears to have a caudex and very architecturally interesting eliptical dark green leaves. While the caudex is gray, new stems are speckled with dark spots. Can anybody give me the scientifically name of this plant (I got only bovine stares from nursery staff and the idiot supplier called it "houseplant"). If it can survive my ferocious sun/heat/humidity I'd like to put it on our new lot. Thanks.

post-1349-059210000 1331839023_thumb.jpg post-1349-033246200 1331839038_thumb.jpg

post-1349-046782100 1331839049_thumb.jpg

Trunk/caudex

post-1349-095535500 1331839103_thumb.jpg

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Maybe Ficus abutilifolia?

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Polyscias scutellaria (aka Polyscias balfouriana). One of the tropical "aralias" or panaxes...this and its close generic kin have long been standard material in tropical and warmest subtropical areas (e.g., Hawai'i and Florida) especially for hedging and also for specimen use.

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I thought it looked like a panax as well, although its the largest leaf panax that I have seen. If so, they propagate easily from cuttings if you want to have more of them. They grow really fast (at least other panax do) and make great hedges

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it does look like aralias

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it does look like aralias

Aralia is the old name for these plants (still commonly used). Polyscias is the accepted name now. Arno King did a good article in the latest edition of SubTropical Gardening magazine on them. They are somewhat an old fashioned plant here and you see many old woody examples growing around old wooden 'Queenslander' homes. I have a few growing in my garden as I really like them.

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I had nightmare about them as we had to remove lots of them that grew all twisted before we started a garden back in Gove. I have one big leave one, because it was given to me... But I won't buy them.

Edited by ariscott
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Only seen as a houseplant here in San Francisco, and they are super slow growing here because it never gets hot for more than a day or two. Looks good indoors with bright light, does it take full sun in south Florida or Queensland? Interesting to get a perspective of the Polyscias as a weed to be discouraged, when they're so unusual here. Sounds like it should do well if protected from frost, getting fairly large if not clipped.

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Only seen as a houseplant here in San Francisco, and they are super slow growing here because it never gets hot for more than a day or two. Looks good indoors with bright light, does it take full sun in south Florida or Queensland? Interesting to get a perspective of the Polyscias as a weed to be discouraged, when they're so unusual here. Sounds like it should do well if protected from frost, getting fairly large if not clipped.

Yes they do best in full sun in coastal Queensland as we have plenty of humidity in the summer months. They will also grow ok in the shade too but the variegated forms may loose some colour. They are highly variable from the big dinner plate leaved form (Ari was talking about) to ones with fine almost Maidenhair fern like foliage.

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