Houseplants gone wild: It’s fascinating to see them in nature
by Connie Oswald Stofko
When my nephew got married this spring in his bride’s home state of Hawaii, I had the pleasure of traveling there for the big event.
Besides the beaches and mountains and, of course, the beauty of the bride, one of the things that impressed me was being able to walk around outside and see plants that we know only as houseplants.
The first time I had experienced this kind of thing was when we visited friends in Brazil and I saw “houseplants” growing by the side of the highway like weeds. For me, the experience was like seeing tigers in the wild.
It had never occurred to me that the plants we tend so carefully inside actually live in the wild (or at least in an outdoor garden) somewhere else in the world. It made me wonder whether common Western New York plants are considered exotic elsewhere in the world. Is somebody somewhere carefully tending a pot of dandelions, thrilled with these fragrant yellow flowers that get the interesting puffy seeds?
Not all of the plants that you see in this article are native to Hawaii, but the climate there supports growing them outside in arboretums. (In Western New York, our USDA zones are 5 or 6, and in Hawaii the zones are 10 or 11.)
Enjoy these views of houseplants holding their own in a natural setting.