Need Neofinetia falcata suggestions...

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Plant Nerd
Jan 28, 2008
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Thanks to the kindness of Marco, I am back in the fold of Neofinetia growers. He gifted me growths of four varieties which I have set up in my most prime of growing locations, the kitchen windowsill. I get early morning direct sun and bright reflected afternoon light here, plus plenty of humidity from water getting sprayed in the sink. This spot stays warm in the Summer and cool in the Winter, so Neos should be happy here. Terrible and entirely too large photo to follow...


I have room for exactly two more Neos in this growing area. This is what I am growing so far...

Kishu Ryokufu - light green flowers (but may be white according to Marco)
Benisuzume - light pink flowers
Hanakanzashi - dark red flowers with three tails
Kasen No Tora - white flowered bean leaf with variegation
Darwinara Rainbow Stars violet blue flowered plants x2.

So, my problem is I can't decide what to do with the remaining two spots. I have the strange flowering Neos covered with Hanakanzashi. I have the bean leaf varieties covered with Kasen. I don't think you can find a more reliable pink than Benisuzume, and Kishu Ryokufu would be a nice green if I can get it to bloom color correct.

I am almost sure I want a nice, multi growth Seikai for one of the spots. It is, and always will be the gold standard of Neos in my opinion. I keep bouncing around between ideas of Kinginrasha, a nice Amami island standard, or another always nice bean leaf variety. So come on Neo growers, help me out. I'm going to place a custom, multi-growth order for whatever two I decide on, so I need to pick varieties that don't cost $1000 per growth. Let's not get too crazy. :)
I am a big fan of the bean leaf types. Here are some that I like rather a lot:

Otaka no Yuki is one of my favorites. It is a version of Otakamaru with very occasional wisps of yellow variegation on the edges of its leaves. The variegation on this one is slight at most, but it's a good strong grower and always a great bloomer with good fragrance. Ask Satomi Kasahara of Seed Engei about this one. She's on Facebook. It's not cheap, but it's not terribly expensive either, relatively speaking.

Aoshinju is another good one. It's a tiny plant, almost identical to Kuroshinju, but has more vigor and is easier to grow. It tends to frequently show touches of pink on its flowers. Often available from and I suspect Satomi of Seed Engei could get it for you too. Not terribly expensive, rather reasonably priced in fact.

Kabutomaru is a really great, classic Japanese bean leaf variety. It is a strong, durable plant which wants to grow, and the flowers smell great. Usually available from Satomi Kasahara of Seed Engei. Not terribly expensive unless you buy a really big one. She also has a Flickr photo feed and publishes photos every month or two. Ask to get on her emailing list and she will send a price list each time she publishes a new set of photos.

Tamakouro isn't a bean leaf variety, but it is very compact in its growth habit with shorter leaves. It has three-spurred flowers much like Manjushage, but they are upward-facing. Very attractive Korean variety. Available from , this one is much more compact than Manjushage. It also costs more.

Suruga Kyokko isn't a bean leaf variety but almost. It has shorter, stocky, spikey leaves which form a nice clump like a pin cushion. The flowers are white with pink pedicels, pink spurs, and pink on the tips of the petals and sepals. This is a very nice variety, and it's available at a very reasonable price from Peter Lin of Diamond Orchids.

Mangekyo is another one from Okheon of in South Korea. It is a very compact plant with three spurred white flowers flushed with pink and touched with pale green. It is made, I believe, by crossing Raizan with Manjushage. Out of vast numbers of seedlings, a few will have flowers with three spurs, and a few of those will have these colors. It commands a price.

Yukidaruma is a gorgeous stocky little Japanese variety with streaks of yellow here and there on the edges of its leaves. Expect to pay a fairly large amount for this one. Satomi of Seed Engei sells it from time to time.

You can't go wrong with Seikai, and Kinginrasha is a great variety for you to be considering as well. Did you know that Okheon of offers various mutations of this plant from time to time? Some are rather nice. I see he is currently offering a short-leaved variety of Kinginrasha. I find it to be very pleasing to the eye.

I have a non-variegated Kasen which I am currently growing. It seems to be much more dwarf than the usual Kasen we see. It's an absolutely gorgeous plant! It is also showing outstanding vigor. Someday I will make divisions to trade and/or sell.
John - Looks like a perfect spot for neos. I'm sure they will enjoy the extra humidity.

I just want to caveat that I have never bloomed the hanakanzashi. From what I have read the three spurred blooms are unstable. I do hope that this variety eventually blooms with three Spurs for both of us.

If you like variegated, I would suggest a shima variegated neo since that variety isn't covered yet. Higashidemiyako is fairly priced. If you bide your time you can get something pretty good at around $120-$140. If you have a little extra coin to spare I would highly suggest a nishidemiyako. A decent sized plant with good variegation can run around $200-$250. The leaves on the nishi are highly variable growth over growth while the higashi is relatively constant.

Mark - yukidaruma, I have to look this one up. Thanks
Mark - bean leaf varieties were my first Neo obsession. They always look amazing in clumps. I'm looking up those you listed. How does one order from barampung? US distributor?

Marco - I have read that Hanakanzashi needs to be multiple growths and really healthy to bloom three tails. Not sure what there is to that. If it blooms red standard flowers that's fine with me too.
No, John, barampung is in S. Korea. It costs roughly $125 total for shipping/cites/phytosanitary per order of up to 12 plants, though you should ask specifically, because for reasons I don't understand, sometimes the limit is placed at 8 plants per order. Your order will be shipped about two weeks after you place it. Plants have to pass inspection by government officials before they can be shipped. It then takes 3 to 4 days for the plants to travel from S. Korea to USA. Tracking is provided. Gorgeous, healthy plants.

Edit: PM sent with more details.
Agreed on the Seikai, a must have for neo collectors. As for a "cheap", easy to grow and lovely fukurin type, I recommend Tenkeifukurin. Very consistent variegation pattern and a solid grower. If you prefer a more interesting and variable pattern, I'd go with Nishidemiyako (grow it long enough and it will could produce a Manazuru growth) or Rainnohikari.

Something tells me though, you're not going to stop at just two more… :evil:

BTW, all the Hanakanzashii and Oiran I've seen seem to have variable spur number with one plant having flowers with one, two and three spurs in a single flowering. Still, a lovely plant.
Nishidemiyako sounds interesting. If I moved the Darwinara to a different growing area, I would have room for Seikai, Kinginrasha, Nishidemiyako and another bean leaf, maybe Kabutomaru? :rollhappy:
John - if you have an affinity for beans, I would definitely hold out one of those spots for a seikai. I see the light bulbs going off. Prime real estate is going to get costly on that windowsill.
John - if you have an affinity for beans, I would definitely hold out one of those spots for a seikai. I see the light bulbs going off. Prime real estate is going to get costly on that windowsill.

I blame you. :D
I think everyone should have one Amami Island Neo. They're beautiful, not so expensive and not quite so
fussy about growing conditions...also a classic.

I think I might tuck an Amami in between the potted plants on the back deck next year and see what happens.