A tiny house plant with just four leaves has been sold for a whopping £4,000. The plant is a variegated rhaphidophora tetrasperma or philodendron minima. The plant is rare with leaves that are half green and half yellow.
The plant’s uniqueness sparked the bidding on New Zealand’s trading site Trade Me. The winning bid turned out to be NZ $8,150 (Rs 4.02 lakh).
The highest price paid for a plant on the website before this bid was NZ $1,650.
The listing which had over 8,000 views described the plant as “extremely rare”. It “currently has four leaves with stunning yellow variegation on every leaf.”
Variegation is the appearance of differently coloured zones in the leaves. Variegated plants are not only rare but they also grow slower than the non-variegated sorts. They rarely occur in nature because variegation is not all that good for the plant.
“It’s the green in the leaves that lets plants photosynthesise. The less green, the less surface area they have to produce the sugars they need for growth and repair,” NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll explained.
The anonymous buyer told Radio New Zealand that he acquired the plant for “a tropical paradise.”
“It’s actually three of us, we are part of a group. We’re building a tropical paradise, it will be a bird and butterfly house with a fully-enclosed restaurant in the middle of a tropical garden, and we want to have the best rare collection of tropical plants in New Zealand inside of there,” he said.
The buyer added, “This facility that we’re building is going to be one of a kind in New Zealand and probably one of a kind in most parts of the world.”
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