[Name-that-plant-filter] What is this potted plant/tree?
October 2, 2012 7:15 PM   Subscribe

[Name-that-plant-filter] What is this potted plant/tree?

I need to identify a potted plant (potted tree?) belonging to a friend. It is tall - six feet, at least - with long, straight pale brown stems, and large round leaves, with a high-sheen finish.
The plant in question was bought in Santiago, Chile a year and a half ago at Sodimac (a Home Depot sort of place.) The owner adores it and would love a second one, but she's never seen it since and has no idea what sort of name it has.
If anyone has any idea what the South American name would be (as the nurseries here often use different names - and even different Latin appellations for plants) that would be fantastic.
posted by tabubilgirl to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Fig or ficus, I can't find a supporting pic though. I'll keep looking, I had one like that. I bought it in the US at a Home Depot sort of place.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2012

Looks like a Peperomia caperata to me.
posted by xyzzy at 12:06 AM on October 3, 2012

(I should have mentioned that if she wants another one, she should be able to just cut off a leaf and stick it in a small pot to root it.)
posted by xyzzy at 12:09 AM on October 3, 2012

Response by poster: xyzzy - this particular specimen is at least six feet tall, which seems to negate it being a peperomia.
Should have probably also mentioned - this particular plant doesn't flower.
posted by tabubilgirl at 4:53 AM on October 3, 2012

Ficus Pimula?
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:59 AM on October 3, 2012

Best answer: Hmm, I missed the 6 foot tall part. I just assumed it had been trained upwards when I looked at the photo. Sorry!

Ficus pimula is more like a vine, but with inadequate light can get leggy. I've never seen one with such thick stalks, though my brother has managed to turn a geranium into a Frankentree, so who knows.

Do the leaves feel rubbery? Are the little trunks soft and woody or hard? Could it be a Polyscias Balfouriana 'Fabian'? Fabians can grow quite tall.

(A lack of flowering isn't necessarily helpful for identification. My brother--apparently some kind of plant sensei--took a cutting from a 40 year old dumb cane belonging to a family friend and his is flowering. Hers never has. She didn't even know flowering was possible.)
posted by xyzzy at 10:45 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh my, xyzzy - i think you've got it.
Trunks are hard, leaves are waxy rather than rubbery.
Polyscias Balfouriana Fabian looks quite amazingly like what's growing in my friend's living room. Thanks very much!
posted by tabubilgirl at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2012

Yay! :)
posted by xyzzy at 12:20 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

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