Sunday, November 16, 2014

Polynesian Vines


Pellionia pulchra April 2013
There are a couple of  varieties of Pellionia available in the houseplant trade. Pellionia pulchra, common name watermelon vine or Polynesian vine and Pellionia repens also common name Polynesian vine. (See why its best to go by the Latin name?) The major difference I see is the leaf markings. These plants are native to SE Asia, mostly Vietnam, and Burma. They were named in honor of A.M.J. Alphonse Pellion (1795-1868), a young French naval officer. 
Pellionia pulchra today
I have both of these plants and find them very interesting. I love anything variegated, as has been stated before in this blog. Even though the flowers aren't really anything to write home about, I always think any flowers on my houseplants are something to be happy about and ups the amazing plant factor.

Pellionia repens

The Pellionia repens picture above is of a new plant I purchased in September. I couldn't remember which one I didn't have and it turns out I already had both. Duh! The picture below is of the same plant and I have had it for years. It resides in a West window and is blooming right now.
I don't know why there is such a difference, other than the new plant had just come out of a greenhouse and so naturally the leaves are bigger. You would think it would be the other way around. Less light, bigger leaves to get more photosynthesizing area, but apparently not. 
Pellionia repens
Both are ground covers where they naturally grow. As houseplants they are typically found in a hanging basket. I have one in a hanging container, but the other is on a shelf in my West window and has plenty of room to trail. I have found them easy plants to grow. I have had mealybugs on one of them, but have since rid the plant of them. 
 
Pellionia repens
If you find these plants to buy, do so. They are easy plants and attractive as well. They aren't plants I see all the time, but they are out there.
Pellionia repens flowers