Houseplants forum: Need an I.D. Please

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Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
Sep 30, 2015 4:35 PM CST
Is this some sort of dracaena? I've had it for some years; came to me with two leaves on a stem. Bloomed very fragrant white flowers one year. I had it outside for the summer and it got a bit sun scorched even though it's shaded pretty well all day. Would love to know what it is. Thanks!
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
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DebbieC
Sep 30, 2015 4:39 PM CST
Oops my picture didn't post. Let's try that again.
Thumb of 2015-09-30/DebbieC/db8015

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Sep 30, 2015 4:46 PM CST
This sort of looks like what I have always called the "Cast Iron Plant".
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Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Sep 30, 2015 5:06 PM CST
I have wondered about Cast Iron Plant but was under the impression that their stems come up singley from the soil. On this plant the stems bifurcate into a fan of stems, if that makes sense. I've never been able to find a closeup picture of stems on a Cast Iron Plant to compare. It certainly is an easy to grow plant, whatever it is.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Sep 30, 2015 8:07 PM CST
The name (I think) came from the "toughness" of this plant. They are almost impossible to kill! Thumbs up
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Oct 1, 2015 7:39 AM CST
Hi Debbie, Welcome!

I've never grown Cast Iron Plant so I don't know if it has fragrant flowers or not.

For comparison, did the blooms look like this?



Or perhaps more like this? Dracaena fragrans does have fragrant flowers:
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Oct 1, 2015 8:35 AM CST
Thank you both for your info.
Lin, I don't recall exactly what the flowers looked like but were definitely not like your first pic. They were a long stalk of small white flowers, so resembled more the second pic. Most of the dracaena varieties I've seen pics of have that thick woody stem which my plant does not, so not sure how that relates. I understand that Cast Iron Plant is a very slow grower; this plant modestly increases each year but is definitely not a rapid grower. So I guess still not sure what I have here, lol.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 1, 2015 9:58 AM CST
I second 'Cast Iron Plant.' The leaves on a Dracaena are even from base to tip (well, they come to a point at the tips generally). Cast Iron Plant's have almost a stem (I don't mean woody) to the "base" of their leaves and it continues up until the actual flat/wide portion of the leaf starts. And I can see the distinctive bendy lines in the leaves.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 1, 2015 1:40 PM CST
Looks like a very mature Spathiphyllum.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Oct 1, 2015 1:53 PM CST
It could very well be a Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) although Debbie commented that the blooms were very fragrant. I've never detected fragrance with Spathiphyllum blooms but then again, my sense of smell isn't so great when it comes to flower fragrance:
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 1, 2015 1:57 PM CST
I'm with you, Lin. I have really never noticed a fragrance.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Oct 1, 2015 1:58 PM CST
I've been growing Spathiphyllum's for many years and haven't detected a hint of fragrance day or night but Debbie's plant does look like it could be a Spath.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
Oct 1, 2015 5:35 PM CST
Hi all. Definitely not a Peace Lily; I've grown a few of those over the years so am quite familiar with them. The leaves on this plant are longer and narrower; they also are of more substance than the leaves of Spathyphyllum. The flowers were small and white , closely spaced on a long stock and very strongly fragrant; nothing at all like the Spathyphyllum.
Thanks for all your ideas on my mystery plant. Normally, I'm well aware of all my plants but this came to me from a houseplant sale with no labelling.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 2, 2015 7:07 AM CST
Maybe this is a different species of Aspidistra (other than elatior?) This Wiki article describes flowers similarly to what you said, Debbie, but unfortunately, doesn't describe one like that with white blooms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspidistra

I'm curious too!
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Plantomaniac08
Oct 2, 2015 7:51 AM CST
That's what I was thinking might be a possibility, it looks like a 'Cast Iron Plant' to me, but I'm dumbfounded because the description of the flowers doesn't match that of what I see when I look online.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
Oct 2, 2015 8:59 AM CST
Well maybe having it outside for the summer and now into the cooling temps will induce it to bloom. I'll post a pic if it does! Thanks all for your interest.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 2, 2015 9:38 AM CST
Hope it blooms Debbie! How are your temps there in MB? Are you nearer Winnipeg? I used to be Manitoban too, but more in Winnipeg and I remember at this time it is really getting much cooler now.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Oct 2, 2015 9:59 AM CST
Aspidistra flower descriptions from the Wikipedia page that Tiffany linked to:

~ The flowering stem (scape) is usually very short so that the flowers appear low down among the leaves. The fleshy flowers are bell, urn or cup-shaped. They vary considerably in size and shape, although few are showy. ~

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Oct 2, 2015 2:01 PM CST
Hi Tarev,
Yes I live just outside Winnipeg. No frost yet but definitely cooler, just on borrowed time lol. Today is beautiful, sunny and 18 C. Quite the transition for you from " Winterpeg" to California! That would be quite an adjustment in gardening.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Oct 2, 2015 2:13 PM CST
Hi Debbie! Yes it was quite a transition indeed. We first came there in MB around 1997 right after the big Red River floods. We left Winnipeg in Jan 2002, at the height of a blizzard, gosh, we were lucky to manage reaching the airport then.

We lived in an apartment before in Winnipeg, so all my house plants were just inside, thankfully we had a good big window so on good days they get our good Manitoba winter sunlight that shines ever so bright in the midst of our brutal winter days there. Smiling I gave them away to good friends, since we cannot cross the border with them.

Manitoba still a second home for me, it has its own charm Thumbs up

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