Four-figure price tags. Destination auctions. Years long wait-lists. Rare plant collectors aren’t messing around.
MIAMI — They came armed with totes, trash bags, empty strollers and collapsible nylon wagons. They came with wish lists and whispers of their “unicorns,” whose Latin names sounded like incantations: adansonii, patriciae, obliqua. Some of them traveled by airplane to get here. Others, in moving trucks. Because one does not walk into the 42nd Annual International Aroid Society Show and Sale simply to browse.
Aroids (it sort of rhymes with “steroids”) are a family of tropical plants that have exploded in popularity in recent years and inspired a revival of the freewheeling ’70s jungle aesthetic. The monstera, whose perforated deliciosa leaves adorn smartphone cases and statement wallpaper, is an aroid. So are philodendrons, anthuriums and tetraspermas — plants prized not for fussy flowers, but for dramatic, lush foliage…[READ MORE]