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what the heck is this plant??

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know what this is? I like the plant, but it doesn't have identification on it and I don't want a harmful plant in my home if it's on the toxic list.
I'm going to put it in the Verdant forums too, but figured I'd ask you guys as well.




and yes - those pictures were taken IN MY HOUSE - I already bought it . Don't worry though, it's way up on the fridge where no one can reach it until I find out what it is and I will return it if I have too.
post #2 of 24
I'm tempted to say it's a type of philodendron.
post #3 of 24
Alocasia species, not sure which one, commonly called Elephant Ear

They are mildly toxic.
post #4 of 24
I'm not a plant specialist

Where did you get the plant from? Can you call the store and ask? Or take a leaf and go to a greenery and ask them?

We don't keep live plants in the house - I don't want to worry about the cats or the dog nibbling on them or knocking them over and making a mess.
post #5 of 24
I agree, it does look like a type of philodendron. Unforunately there's a lot of different philodendrons I know they're toxic to reptiles but dunno how toxic they are to cats.

Looks too rigid to be an elephant ear, but those are toxic too.
post #6 of 24
Here's a site where you can identify which Alocasia species.
http://www.aroid.org/gallery/kozminski/Alocasia/
I believe you have an A. sanderiana
post #7 of 24
Looks like Alocasia 'Polly'. They are very common in the trade. The undersides of the leaves are purple. It's not sanderiana which has shorter, stouter leaves and more intense colration on the topside.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I'm not a plant specialist

Where did you get the plant from? Can you call the store and ask? Or take a leaf and go to a greenery and ask them?
I got it of all places - at Home Depot. Normally they are reallly good when it comes to identification, but that's when they are at their height of the season and have ton's of people in the garden section. Garden section is closed now and these were inside with a few others. I'm not sure I'm going to find someone who works in the Gardent department in January - so I didn't even bother to ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
Alocasia species, not sure which one, commonly called Elephant Ear

They are mildly toxic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luxum View Post
Looks like Alocasia 'Polly'. They are very common in the trade. The undersides of the leaves are purple. It's not sanderiana which has shorter, stouter leaves and more intense colration on the topside.
I thought that it was a type of elephant ear, but wasn't sure. you are right - the undersides of the leaves are purple. Thanks!! I'm going to look it up on the link that Arlyn gave me!
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok - now so why isn't it on either list for cat plants? The Toxic or Non-toxic.
post #10 of 24
There is probably no data on the specific hybrid 'Polly', but Alocasias are on the list as "toxic" to cats, i'm not sure how bad. My cats are not interested in this particular Alocasia at all because the leaves are so leathery.

Oh, and elephant ears are colocasia, very closely related, and until fairly recently alocasia and colocasia were included in a single genus.

The alocasias prefer the soil drier than colocasias do. 'Polly' sometimes goes dormant in the winter if it gets too chilly, but will resprout in the spring when it warms up with a little rain. Keep them bone dry if dormant so they don't rot.
post #11 of 24
You can find alocasia on this toxicity list, not pet specific
http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu...nt/Tox-COM.htm
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luxum View Post
There is probably no data on the specific hybrid 'Polly', but Alocasias are on the list as "toxic" to cats, i'm not sure how bad. My cats are not interested in this particular Alocasia at all because the leaves are so leathery.

Oh, and elephant ears are colocasia, very closely related, and until fairly recently alocasia and colocasia were included in a single genus.

The alocasias prefer the soil drier than colocasias do. 'Polly' sometimes goes dormant in the winter if it gets too chilly, but will resprout in the spring when it warms up with a little rain. Keep them bone dry if dormant so they don't rot.
Just so you know - I'm putting you on "speed dial" along with Gail and Cindy come gardening season. I'm just getting into it since I've only had my house for 2 years and even though I've learned a lot - I know I'm gonna have questions. Are you a member on the Verdant forums too? I need to start frequenting that a lot more for all my questions as well.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Arrrgghhh...found it. It is toxic to cats.
Guess I either need to bring it back or it becomes a permanent fixture on my refrigerator.
post #14 of 24
well I hope you find out what it is.........and if you get it to grow OK, please let me know. I´ve had one and well, sorry to report it lasted for about 6 weeks
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
Arrrgghhh...found it. It is toxic to cats.
Guess I either need to bring it back or it becomes a permanent fixture on my refrigerator.
Where do you live? I have one planted outsdie and it's doing fine.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
Arrrgghhh...found it. It is toxic to cats.
Guess I either need to bring it back or it becomes a permanent fixture on my refrigerator.
What about moving it outside?
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooficat View Post
well I hope you find out what it is.........and if you get it to grow OK, please let me know. I´ve had one and well, sorry to report it lasted for about 6 weeks
Great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042 View Post
Where do you live? I have one planted outsdie and it's doing fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snosrap5 View Post
What about moving it outside?
Ummm...outside???? Can't do it - I live in Massachusetts.....it's a little here right now. Plant wouldn't stand a chance.
post #18 of 24
I've had one for several years. It goes dormant in the late fall because i stop watering it (for some reason i always get lazy with the watering at that time of year), but it always resprouts in the spring. They like to dry out between waterings and will not tolerate soil that is heavy or stays constantly moist.
Quote:
Just so you know - I'm putting you on "speed dial" along with Gail and Cindy come gardening season. I'm just getting into it since I've only had my house for 2 years and even though I've learned a lot - I know I'm gonna have questions. Are you a member on the Verdant forums too? I need to start frequenting that a lot more for all my questions as well.
Haha! Well, my "garden" is just a little apartment balcony, and i have a lot of houseplants in the living room where the light is good. I've never actually gardened in soil, only containers.

I went through an orchid phase but i have stopped aquiring them since they are a little too fussy about cool temps in the winter and i'm tired of lugging the orchid rack inside every time the night temps are going to dip below 50º. My new love is bromeliads! Hardy (uh, in Tampa hehe), colorful, prolific, and almost no work at all. I've never heard of the Verdant forums, i'll look them up. I've been a member at Gardenweb for a long time but i hate the format of the forums and it seems they are always very slow.

My cats are trained to leave the plants alone so i never really worry about toxicity. And it's useful if you can find a page that lists specifically how toxic the plants are. Many are on toxicity lists but don't produce life threatening reactions. And this particular plant is unlikely to be attractive to cats since the leaves are thick and rubbery - cats prefer soft grassy leaves usually. But you know your own cats and can make a judgement about how likely they are to go for it.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luxum View Post
I've had one for several years. It goes dormant in the late fall because i stop watering it (for some reason i always get lazy with the watering at that time of year), but it always resprouts in the spring. They like to dry out between waterings and will not tolerate soil that is heavy or stays constantly moist.

Haha! Well, my "garden" is just a little apartment balcony, and i have a lot of houseplants in the living room where the light is good. I've never actually gardened in soil, only containers.

I went through an orchid phase but i have stopped aquiring them since they are a little too fussy about cool temps in the winter and i'm tired of lugging the orchid rack inside every time the night temps are going to dip below 50º. My new love is bromeliads! Hardy (uh, in Tampa hehe), colorful, prolific, and almost no work at all. I've never heard of the Verdant forums, i'll look them up. I've been a member at Gardenweb for a long time but i hate the format of the forums and it seems they are always very slow.

My cats are trained to leave the plants alone so i never really worry about toxicity. And it's useful if you can find a page that lists specifically how toxic the plants are. Many are on toxicity lists but don't produce life threatening reactions. And this particular plant is unlikely to be attractive to cats since the leaves are thick and rubbery - cats prefer soft grassy leaves usually. But you know your own cats and can make a judgement about how likely they are to go for it.
Apartment balcony or not - if you can keep things green and alive - you're on my list.
As for the toxicity thing. I've actually had philodendrens for 12 years and none of my babies have ever touched any of them. They have no interest in them. The only thing they go for are my grasses (fountain grass, Pampas grass) which is on the "ok" list. So I don't think I'll have to worry about this plant. The leaves are too course and rubbery for them to even try. I put it on the floor and watched them all sniff at it then stick their noses up like it stunk so I should be ok.
Now keep your fingers crossed that it stays green for me!
post #20 of 24
depends on the cat some do not touch plants. I grow houseplants and yes some are toxic ( ficus benjamia, peace lily) I just make sure Bindi cannot get the chances to eat them the best I can. Some plants on the toxic list maybe be a little off others truely are scary. Ficus, taste bad and may cause him to vomit but he'd have to eat alot of it to really hurt him. I'd be more worried about outside lilys( stargazer easter) and Jack in the pulpit. those are the REALLY dangerous ones, Some tribes of Native Americans actually used the cut up roots of the Jack In The Pulpit plant to hide in food to kill their rivals
post #21 of 24
Good luck on keeping this plant alive. Many plants I buy have the three strikes rule-actually two strikes-if it dies its out!! So I have bought this plant two or three times know and my cats never bothered it but it didn't grow well for me either. I have to be happy with the remaining 65 in my house!!
post #22 of 24
It's called an Elephant's ear, it's tropical, grows naturally in the wild and is a GIANT plant (bigger than you) as it matures. Colocasia esculenta is the scientific name. I am sure it is toxic to cats since most tropical plants are.
post #23 of 24
No, that's not elephant ear (colocasia), it's an alocasia - almost positive that it's 'Polly' since it's really popular and shows up in big box stores, grocery stores, and florists. And it stays a pretty reasonable houseplant size even in the best of conditions.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Good luck on keeping this plant alive. Many plants I buy have the three strikes rule-actually two strikes-if it dies its out!! So I have bought this plant two or three times know and my cats never bothered it but it didn't grow well for me either. I have to be happy with the remaining 65 in my house!!
65!!
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