Plant Identification Help Needed

Discussion in 'COMPANION PLANTS - TROPICAL & SUBTROPICAL' started by Ranger Smith, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. I have two plant species on my property, that I have planted and take care of, and I still don't know what they are. If you know, please let me know their names.
    Plants number 1 forms a rosette arrangement of leaves. The leaves are tough, but not exactly succulent. It's similar to an aloe, except that it's not succulent. Upon sexual maturity, it forms a tall stalk in the center, from which baby plants develop and drop. This is how I got this plant, from a dropped baby in my neighbor's yard. This species grows wild and is very abundant at the 1,000 foot elevation level in Kona, Hawaii.
    Plant number 2 is a wild shrub that lives at the 2,000+ foot level in Ocean View, Hawaii. It has wavy leaf margins. Fruit is a type of capsule or drupe, yellowish-tan in color, about the size of a grape. This may be a type of Soapberry, or something in the Sapindus family, but I can't nail it down. I found this plant as a seedling in my yard, put it in a pot and nursed it, then put it in the ground. It makes a marvelous decorative plant. It's healthy, pretty and drought-tolerant.
     

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  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Jeff, I've seen both of these, but can't help with exact names.

    Plant #1 is in a family with many similar - so pinning down the exact name may require a flower, and an expert. I suspect it is the same plant you can see thousands of when leaving Kailua Town going up Palani. Sometimes seeing hundreds of the flower stalks spreading up the hill.

    Plant #2 I have seen around, but I have never known the name. I'll keep my eyes and ears open now. Or maybe someone else happens to know.
     
  3. Yep, that's where they are, you know what I'm talking about up on Palani. Otay, thanks for helping. :)
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I could be way off base - but they look like a form of Yucca to me.
     
  5. I don't think it's Yucca, because Yucca forms a woody trunk at the base of the plant. And I don't know Yucca to form baby plants after flowering. But just to be sure, I'll Google varieties of Yucca. :)
     
  6. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    4,845
    Do the mother plants die after flowering? I am thinking some type of Agave.
     
  7. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Ranger Smith could tell you - but I think they do. But I never really looked at one closely, so again, I could be way off base.

    You may be on the right track - I do not know my "desert plants."
     
  8. YES. As soon as they drop the baby plants, the mother plant dies.
     
  9. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    It is more than likely Agave desmettiana.
     
  10. Based on what I've seen online, since I saw your suggested ID, I think that it may indeed be an Agave. But I'm not so sure about the desmettiana part. The descriptions I found of Agave desmettiana, describe it as a soft-bodied succulent, and I don't consider this plant as either soft-bodied or succulent. The leaves are tough and fibrous, and not especially juicy and/or pulpy when cut. And the ones I've seen here are up to 5 feet tall, bigger than the descriptions I read online. But thank you for your help. :)
     
  11. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Jeff - Looks like a definite possibility to me.
     
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  12. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
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  13. Steve, your identification appears to be 100% correct. AMAZING. :) THANK YOU VERY MUCH. :) And now I feel like a dummy, for not having thought of this myself. Whyyyy? Because as soon as I saw the name, "Pittosporum", I recognized the family IMMDEDIATELY. My parents have Pittosporum plants in their yard, with the same flowers and fruit. The Pittosporum they have goes by the name of, "Tobira", aka, "Potter's Wheel", aka, "Mock Orange". It's the common Tobira plant in landscapes all over Northern California. And all this time I thought that this was a Hawaiian native. But it's really not much of an invasive species. They just are around, here and there, without being a nuisance. It's a wild plant that makes a great decorative shrub. :)
     
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  14. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

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    502
    Furcraea are more water loving and frost sensitive,unlike most Agaves. The variegated Furcraea is a looker,nice collectors plant.
     
  15. The Furcraea plants here in Hawaii are drought-tolerant. They live in thin, rocky soils, at 1,000-3,000 feet, 19 degrees north latitude. But I don't know anything about their frost-sensitivity, because they are not subject to frost where they grow, here. I think the frost line starts here at about 10,000 feet. A variegated Furcraea would be interesting. Like EVERYTHING I grow, I babied this plant, figuring that it would fail, because everything did at my place for so long. But it has thrived, and now I regret planting it, because it is so big, and it has sharp, pointed leaf tips, that are somewhat dangerous. I found some interesting online info about this plant, that it is called, Mauritious Hemp, and that you can make fibers out of the leaves.
     

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