Spider Plant, Airplane Plant
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT
Synonyms of Chlorophytum comosum (38) (Updated on 11-15-22 from Plants of the World Online): Anthericum comosum Thunb. (1794), Anthericum longituberosum Poelln. (1942), Anthericum picturatum Dreer (1887), Anthericum sternbergianum Schult. & Schult.f. (1830), Anthericum vallis-trappii Poelln. (1942), Anthericum vittatum Anon., Anthericum vittatum variegatum Hovey (1882), Anthericum williamsii Anon. (1875), Caesia comosa (Thunb.) Spreng. (1825), Chlorophytum brevipes Baker (1898), Chlorophytum bukobense Engl. (1895), Chlorophytum bukobense var. kilimandscharicum Engl. (1895), Chlorophytum burchellii Baker (1876), Chlorophytum delagoense Baker (1897), Chlorophytum elatulum Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum elgonense Bullock (1932), Chlorophytum gazense Rendle (1911), Chlorophytum glaucidulum Engl. ex Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum glaucidulum var. pauper Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum inopinum Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum kirkii Baker (1882), Chlorophytum limurense Rendle (1932), Chlorophytum longum Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum magnum Peter ex Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum miserum Rendle (1895), Chlorophytum nemorosum Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum paludicola Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum ramiferum Rendle (1895), Chlorophytum rugosum Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum sternbergianum (Schult. & Schult.f.) Steud. (1840), Chlorophytum turritum Peter ex Poelln. (1947), Chlorophytum usambarense Engl. ex Poelln. (1947), Cordyline vivipara Steud. (1840), Hartwegia comosa (Thunb.) Nees (1831), Hollia comosa (Thunb.) Heynh. (1846), Narthecium sarmentosum Philippar (1830), Phalangium comosum (Thunb.) Poir. (1804), Phalangium viviparum Reinw. ex Kunth (1843)
Chlorophytum comosum (Thunb.) Jacques is the accepted scientific name for this Spider Plant. It was named and described as such by that name by Henri Antoine Jacques in Journal de la Société Impériale et Centrale d’Horticulturein 1862. It was FIRST described as Anthericum comosum Thunb. by Carl Peter Thunberg in Prodromus Plantarum Capensium in 1794.
The genus, Chlorophytum Ker Gawl., was named by John Bellenden Kew Gawler and described in Botanical Magazine in 1807.
As of 11-15-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 200 species in the Chlorophytum genus. It is a member of the plant family Asparagaceae with 120 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
Chlorophytum comosum is widespread in Africa in its native habitat.
There are several different Chlorophytum comosum varieties. The one with green leaves and white margins is ’Variegatum’ and the one with green leaves with a white center stripe is called ‘Vittatum’ while the species, Chlorophytum comosum, has all green leaves. ‘Vittatum’ is the largest of the three. Both ‘Variegatum’ and ‘Vittatum’ have won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
My Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ was given to me by my good friend Walley Morse of Greenville, Mississippi in 2012 while I was living at the mansion in Leland.
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Zones: USDA Zones 9b-11 (25 to 40 ° F/-3.8 to 4.5 C)
Size: Up to 24” tall and wide, more or less.
Light: Bright indirect light, light to part shade.
Soil: Well-drained soil a little on the damp side.
Propagation: Plantlets easily take root.
Uses: Hanging baskets, bedding, air purifying.
Spider Plants are very easy to grow. They prefer their soil to be moderately moist and like bright, indirect light. They don’t especially need fertilizer as their tubers store reserve food. Too much fertilizer will result in strange-looking plants and they will not produce as many flowers and plantlets. They can easily be propagated by planting the plantlets in potting soil. They are very adaptable and can be grown in hanging baskets and in flower beds. They can survive temperatures as low as 35° degrees F. Wikipedia says they do best in a temperature range from 65-90° F but the Missouri Botanical Garden says between 55-70°.
Well cared for happy plants can get fairly large and are beautiful specimens. You will need to remove dead leaves occasionally to keep them looking their best. They like an occasional misting, too.
I gave up my Spider Plant when I moved from Mississippi back to the family farm in February 2013. I am sure I will have another one someday.
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