Return to the Name That Plant Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Posted by purpleinopp 8b AL (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 6, 12 at 10:11

Plant #1:
- a gift from a friend.
- grows faster without mid-day sun but can take it
- hardy here (lived in a pot outside all winter)
- slightly larger, lighter-green leaves

Plant #2:
- a hitch hiker in a bought hanging basket
- thought it was gone this spring (died over winter in basket in house) but it showed up last month in the flower bed where I threw the trimmings upon bringing that basket back outside this spring.
- thriving in tons of sun all day
- slightly smaller, darker-green leaves

Both have been placed in various amounts of sun and always look different from each other. No flowers from either. Which of these is the real C. repens? What is the other one?

Plant #1

Plant #2


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

I would still have to lean strongly toward a strain of Tradescantia fluminensis for plant #1. I had a plant that was almost identical but with light gray-green leaves (no gold or yellow) and green stems (no red), with perhaps slightly less internodal length. But, by golly, foliage shape and growth habit are identical.
hortster


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Thanks for the input! Yes, these Callisias/Tradescantias have got me confused, but in a fun way. You're leaning the same way I am, that #2 is C. repens and #1 is a mystery.

Wouldn't T. fluminensis be expected to have bloomed at some point though? (Assuming it's happy and healthy, which it seems to be from the rate of growth.) Had both since spring of '11, which I failed to mention originally...


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Supposed to bloom white with 3-petaled flowers. It was a number of years ago, but I don't recall any bloom, just rapid growth with a very similar appearance. Now you have me wondering!
hortster


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Had a Homer Simpson moment (Doh!) while pondering these plants earlier. The back of #1's leaves are the same color as the front:


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

The back of #2's leaves is purple:


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Any further thoughts?


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Ok I think I have figured this out. Plant #2 is Callisia repens. Plant #1 is seen at Glasshouse Works website, "CALLISIA ITSY BITSY" and is unidentified regarding species. Hard to believe nobody has gotten around to naming this plant.

Plants listed in alphabetical order here, if anyone wants to look.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

How do people feel about calling plant #1 Callisia monandra? I don't know what color 'eggshell blue' is, as reported for the Glasshouse Works plant, but the flowers on my plant were definitely white.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Bueller... Bueller... Bueller... Anyone? Anyone?...


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Omg, how funny! I just started reading this thread and was thinking, "her hands look like purple's." And then I realized it IS you! LOL!


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Hey, SS! Welcome to my mystery.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Well after 3 months of growth, and continuing to put these 2 plants in different locations (next to each other) for comparison, my conviction that they are different increases.

Just in case I didn't make it clear last time I put the link, here is plant #1 with flowers.

Below is a new pic of plant #2 which has not been disputed as C. repens. Has a tendency to get tiny purple spots on leaves, always darker green, thinner (as in less succulent,) made one tiny little flower thing (that looked just like the abundant flowers on plant #1) but happened so fast, I didn't get a shot of them, and never saw the actual blooms open, just the stalk.

Callisia repens:

Callisia monandra seems the best match, and likely that it could easily creep up from Mexico. I see this plant around the area, in lawns, empty lots, invading the pots that don't sell right away at the mom'n'pop garden center, and various places in the ground there also. If a piece hits the ground, a patch soon forms. Can't find reliable pics of all of the species names out there though, so who knows?

Plant #1, the mystery - C. monandra?

A little chlorotic from so much rain, in company with Easter cactus, if wondering.

Any thoughts? Other suggestions?


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Purple. Robin's eggs are considered Eggshell Blue. Google.

I know I'm wrong, but, 'is it,' plant 1? Reminds me of two plants, neither related to Callisia.
One is a succulent sold at HD in small 3" pots. I've seen this succulent sold there many times, but it doesn't have a name tag.

Another plant it reminds me of is, again, noid, Peperomia.
Similiar shaped leaves, that hang. Stems are red in a sunny location.

Sorry, I don't have an answer. You're better ID'ing than I.

Signed, Slim Shady... :)
Or
What's My ----


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

These 2 pots have the largest 'population' of each plant for side-by-side comparison. Plant #2, Callisia repens on left, mystery plant #1 on right (with other plants in the same pot.)


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

I Still think these may just be horticultural selections of the same species. It's like asking will the real Saintpaulia ionantha (with it's myriad forms) please stand up. Until they flower I'd consider them as such.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

I respect that, and very much appreciate your input and time spent looking again. It's making me crazy that pics don't show the difference like looking at the plants in person. I tried in different weather, w & w/o flash... Wish you could see them in person!

When mystery plant bloomed, it was the same time of year (fall) both times, and it was prolific. Had I known it would be this much of a mystery, I would have potted some together a while back. I did that yesterday, so hopefully sometime in the next 18 months, more similarity or difference will be apparent that way.

Callisia flowers are all so similar (and elusive, usually opening at night as far as I can tell, from 'mystery plant' and C. fragrans) but with a magnifying glass for these nearly microscopic flowers, there's probably some difference. I wouldn't know what it would be (besides scent,) and can't find any source of such (trusted) info about these kinds of plants. I can find no site with info and pics of each species. Info source suggestions welcome!


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

I notice it grows from Mexico to Peru so there's bound to be (and are) multiple sub-species and varieties. The link below mentions it's variability and that the type in cultivation is different. Hardiness may be provenance related as high elevation plants will be more resistant to cold. Also confused with C. cordifolia if that's any help?

Here is a link that might be useful: See this link


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Thank you! I might buy this book if you trust it. That is extremely helpful although I don't understand all of the description details. I'm sure I would eventually if I bought that. Didn't even get to browsing my true love yet, it has a Tradescantia section.

It says, "The form of C. repens in commercial cultivation is distinctive. It has small rounded leaves and inconspicuous inflorescences in the axils of normal leaves. Its' wild origin is uncertain. It has been confused with C. cordifolia which has a different inflorescence and thin leaves."

The flowers on 'mystery plant' were very conspicuous, and abundant, sticking up several inches from the main mass.

Just remembered to check again, the back of every leaf of C. repens is all or somewhat purple. There is no purple on the back of any 'mystery plant' leaves. Added up, just seems too different to be a sport or variation, to my humble opinion. Both are hardy here.

If pics of C. cordifolia are accurate, it has a tiny 3-petaled white flower just like Gibasis/Tradescantia geniculata, so that can't be it.

Is 'Hapalanthus repens' the older name (for C. repens,) from 1763?

No other species of Callisia are mentioned there, but there's stuff at the beginning of the Callisia section I don't understand.

What does this mean? (And why don't they then list C. monandra with the other Callisia species?):
"Incl. Aploleia Rafinesque (1837). T: Aploleia diffusa Rafinesque [Nom. illeg., = Callisia monandra (Swartz) Schultes fil.]."

Trying to find pics of a plant called Aploleia, fail. C. monandra always goes back to the lurig.altavista.org thing and no other sources else except stuff like flickr and photobucket.

Is this a reliable source? The only pics I see that look like 'mystery plant' no matter what I search seem to all be on this site.

Thank you!


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Is 'Hapalanthus repens' the older name (for C. repens,) from 1763?
Yes.

"Is this a reliable source??
As reliable as government sites usually are. I've seen some real
bloopers on state sites though.

"Incl. Aploleia Rafinesque (1837). T: Aploleia diffusa Rafinesque [Nom. illeg., = Callisia monandra (Swartz) Schultes fil.]."

I'll let those who're botanist weigh in on this.
My guess is it's an invalid name.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Thanks again! I have poked around on that site but I don't understand it, and it doesn't seem like a government entity with all of the ads, seems to be hosted by an Italian entity, and I can find no link explaining its' proper name and government association.

Looking at their page for C. repens, there's all of the pics that come up on a google search for C. monandra. I now notice they are all of one or two plants in Hawaii and not what C. repens usually looks like, compared to the majority of other pics of C. repens on any search, and what I've seen over the years.

There seems to be no info on this page at all. Clicking the link to images brings up a google search in Italian and contains pics from many other sites, including all of the C. repens pics from this site. A google search? If you search for "Callisia repens" or "callisia repens blooms" or "Callisia monandra," up comes pics of MY plants. Reliable?

OK, at least now I know where I got the idea to call it C. monandra, but that now seems silly based on pics of what looks like mislabeled C. repens from Hawaii. This just leads one in circles on a wild goose chase. I remember doing this exact same thing before from the pics, but didn't put it all together at the time.

Without a reliable source with both descriptions and pics, I'm coming to the conclusion that trying to give the plants names is only going to give me a headache. If it looks different (in a good way,) it's worth having, but just frustrating when you can't tell people what it is.

And above, when I said, "No other species of Callisia are mentioned there" I meant no others that could be 'mystery plant.' I did read through all of the Callisia entries in the linked book.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Sorry, I have ad-blocking software installed so I didn't see the ad's I was actually referring to the linked pages of which some are government.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Aaah, your blocking software is doing a lot of work when you visit that site. Yes, each species I visited at that site links to USDA plants database.

USDA plants database is thin on info about these kinds of creepers, many of which are hardy and present in the US. But since they can look virtually identical, would be unlikely to pose a threat to crops or stick up obviously in a fairway, and don't make 'wild flowers' that anyone would notice on a hike or nature walk, there seems little interest.

C. repens is not listed as being present in AL. There is an entry for C. monandra, but I've never found a reliable pic of this supposed species. Of the 8 Callisias listed at USDA, there is 1 pic of C. fragrans, that's it for pics.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Well I'm back with new pics... in case anyone has any new suggestions for ID, or how to search on my own.

You can see the light green chunk of the one that blooms, compared to the darker, less pointed leaves of the other one.

Backed-up a bit.

Finally getting good pics this year but have been convinced for a while these are 2 different plants. The one I've always thought was C. repens is the one that doesn't bloom. I've had it before in OH also, the darker green, less pointed leaf one, always labeled C. repens. C. repens has disappeared for winter in the ground here, I think, though it may just be lost under leaves, not totally sure since it's taken a while to get some decent patches of it going the way I constantly take cuttings. This blooming plant stays evergreen, in a pot or in the ground, the past couple winters anyway. I would love to know what the other one is.

Some pics of the blooms while open, from a chunk of this plant in a different pot. The blooms are rarely open, just like Callisia fragrans, but the tip structure that holds them is quite distinct from regular growth.

There are no leaves at the nodes toward the tip.

If C. repens was doing this in millions of pots every fall, people would notice! I have both kinds of plants in at least 10 different pots and spots in the ground, in different exposures around the yard. All of the one-that -blooms have bloom structures. All of the one-that-does-not do not.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Went ISO pics of other plants. Here's a patch of the non-blooming, regular C. repens at the garden store.

Another difference is that this stuff is always somewhat upright.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

A few feet away, a patch of the other stuff (with a chunk of non-blooming, regular C. repens in the middle.) This plant is always prostrate unless/until it decides to bloom. Then it starts going straight up.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

A different angle of the same patch shows the blooming tips a little better. The parts that aren't blooming are directly in contact with the ground (landscape fabric,) while the chunk of the other stuff in the middle stands upright.

If you've come this far, please let me know if you think these are 2 different plants or not, from what I've been able to capture in pics. Feeling both plants is even more definitive, but this is as far as a forum can go. Thanks!


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Hi Purple. There are decent descriptions of seven Callisia species at the Flora of North America site (link below). Three of them have white flowers:
• C. fragrans has ascending stems, spirally arranged leaves which are 2.5 to 5 cm wide, fragrant flowers, and stoloniferous roots. Its inflorescences are up to 30 cm long.
• C. repens is mat-forming, with odorless flowers that are sessile in leaf axils toward stem ends. Its petals are inconspicuous.
• C. cordifolia is also mat-forming, with odorless flowers, but has inflorescences on peduncles and flowers on pedicels in leaf axils toward stem ends. Its petals are conspicuous.

There are also four species with pink to rose-colored flowers:
• C. micrantha is a creeping plant with leaves 0.3 to 0.8 cm wide
• C. rosea is erect to ascending, with leaves 0.4 to 1.5 cm wide
• C. ornate is erect to ascending, not in clumps, with leaves only 0.1 to 0.5 mm wide
• C. graminea is erect to ascending, clumped, and with leaves only 0.1 to 0.5 mm wide

It looks like you probably have Callisia cordifolia for the one that blooms, because of those pedicellate flowers. The other plant may be C. repens, because that species has flowers hidden in leaf axils which are inconspicuous. But C. rosea and C. micrantha are also possibilities, since you haven’t seen the other plant bloom.

Other Callisia species not listed in USDA and FNA are feasible, but unlikely. The stuff that comes into this county with flower shipments from overseas is usually listed on those sites unless it has recently arrived.

Here is a link that might be useful: FNA Callisia key


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Jekeesl, I don't know why I didn't see your response originally. A very big, belated TY to you!

Here is Callisia fragrans, getting ready to put on its' show of blooms, with exponentially larger foliage, so the mystery plant is not this, though the blooms taken out of context are extremely similar.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

They are on MUCH larger stalks though, and definitely have a pervasive and pleasant aroma.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

C. cordifolia does sound like a match. I was coming back today with a new pic, and to point out how, unlike C. repens, the mystery plant has lost all but its' basal foliage for the 3rd year in a row. The first 2 times I thought it was just watering too much, or not enough, but it's in so many different pots with other plants this year, I'm sure that's not the case. The stalks that elongated into blooms have just been discarded.

There are many 'reputable sources' with pics of this plant labeled as C. repens. (Packed with cuttings of other plants, but nothing left of C. cordifolia beyond basal growth.) The longish naked stems are Portulaca.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

  • Posted by mfyss w. Ill. (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 12:25

Do you have an answer to your question?
C. repens 2 (leaf underside purple, no flower) = ?;
C. repens 1 (green underside, flowers similar to C. fragans, though shorter, etc.) = ?.

Thanks for all your work. Yale


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

Hi Yale, thanks for asking! From the info Jekeesl provided, I think the plant with the purple-backed leaves that I've always known as C. repens IS the real C. repens. C. cordifolia is still the best match I can find for the other one.

It's understandable that most people would think they are the same plant, unless they have both to notice the many subtle differences. So many 'reputable' sources have pics of the plant #2 that makes extremely conspicuous flowers, labeled C. repens.

I don't understand all of the anatomy words, but here's the full description of both. Without pics, I'm lost reading these. I can't find anything in the C. repens description indicating purple-backed leaves, but may just be from lack of comprehension. What does everyone else think?

Thanks for your interest,
Tiffany

6. Callisia repens (Jacquin) Linnaeus, Sp. Pl., ed. 2. 1: 62. 1762.

Herbs, perennial, mat-forming, repent (flowering stems ascending). Leaves 2-ranked, gradually reduced toward ends of flowering stems; blade ovate to lanceolate or lanceolate-oblong, 1--3.5 ´ 0.6--1 cm (distal leaf blades much narrower than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), margins scabrid, apex acute, glabrous. Inflorescences sessile in axils of distal leaves of flowering stems, composed of pairs of sessile cymes (sometimes reduced to single cymes). Flowers bisexual and pistillate, odorless, subsessile; petals inconspicuous, white, lanceolate, 3--6 mm; stamens 0--6, long-exserted; filaments glabrous; ovary 2-locular, stigma penicillate. Capsules 2-locular. Seeds 1 mm.

Flowering early spring (Tex.) or summer--fall (Fla.). Shady, rocky or gravelly places, and in citrus groves; introduced; Fla., La., Tex.; West Indies; South America (to Argentina).

***************

7. Callisia cordifolia (Swartz) E. S. Anderson & Woodson, Contr. Arnold Arbor. 9: 117. 1935.

Tradescantia cordifolia Swartz, Prodr., 57. 1788; Leiandra cordifolia (Swartz) Rafinesque; Phyodina cordifolia (Swartz) Rohweder; Tradescantella floridana (S. Watson) Small; Tradescantia floridana S. Watson

Herbs, perennial, mat-forming. Leaves 2-ranked, gradually reduced toward end of flowering shoot; blade lanceolate or lanceolate-elliptic to ovate, 1--3 ´ 0.5--1.4 cm (distal leaf blades much narrower than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), margins scabrous, glabrous. Inflorescences terminal and axillary from distal leaves, pedunculate, composed of pairs of sessile cymes; bracts linear to linear-lanceolate, 2--6 mm. Flowers odorless, 4--5 mm wide, pedicillate; sepals distinct, maroon, 2--3 mm; petals white, ovate, 2.5 mm; stamens 6, nearly equal or antipetalous stamens slightly longer than antsepalous; filaments glabrous; ovary 3-locular. Capsules 3-locular. Seeds 0.6--0.7 mm. 2n = 14 (as floridana).

Flowering spring--fall. Moist, usually shady places with calcareous soil, e.g., hummocks, fern grottoes, shell middens; Fla., Ga.; Mexico; West Indies; n South America.

The single Georgia record, a specimen labeled Rome, Floyd County (Babcock s.n., MO), is considered credible by Dr. Nancy Coile.


 o
RE: will the real Callisia repens please stand up?

  • Posted by mfyss w. Ill. (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 18:06

The attachment is of C. repens (your C. cordifolia); it is the pistillate flower (the flimsy things). I took the photo, and there is one on the web of the same thing at a site called the Flora of Kaxil Kiuc. Have no ideas about the name of the purple underside Callisia at the moment. It was helpful that someone recognized my flower on the Garden Web forum Botany.

Again thanks for the work you are doing; we may actually get some solid information. Yale


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Name That Plant Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here