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Rare House Plant With Four Green And Yelllow Leaves Sells For £4,000

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Rare House Plant With Four Green And Yelllow Leaves Sells For £4,000

A tiny house plant with only four leaves has sold for more than £4,000.

As you can probably tell from the photos, it is clearly a variegated rhaphidophora tetrasperma, or philodendron minima - and an extremely rare one at that, with aesthetically pleasing leaves that are half green and half yellow.

One of the prettiest variegated rhaphidophora tetraspermas you're ever likely to see. Credit: Trade me/hurley88
One of the prettiest variegated rhaphidophora tetraspermas you're ever likely to see. Credit: Trade me/hurley88

It's uniqueness sparked a bidding war on New Zealand's biggest trading site, Trade Me, with the winning bid turning out to be a whopping NZ $8,150 (£4,130).

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I've crunched the numbers, and that works out as more than a grand per leaf. It's also the most anyone has ever paid for a plant on the site, beating the previous record-holder by NZ $1,650 (£830).

Ruby Topzand, a spokeswoman for Trade Me, said: "While we have seen over 1,600 searches for minimas in the last seven days, they are far from the most popular houseplant on site.

"By comparison, we saw over 65,000 searches for hoyas in the past week. Hoyas are the most popular plant, followed by monsteras, succulents, and snake plants."

So why the hell would someone spend so much on this particular plant, when you could get a car, a corgi and a kitchen island for less?

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Well, the anonymous buyer told Radio New Zealand that he is part of a trio of plant aficionados who knew they simply had to have it for their tropical plant project.

One grand per leaf. Credit: Trade Me/hurley88
One grand per leaf. Credit: Trade Me/hurley88

He said: "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 collection of rare tropical plants in New Zealand inside of there.

"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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"[The plant] will be grown out and put on display for everyone to see."

He added: "It's obviously a lot more than what we really wanted to pay, but at the end of the day rare things are hard to find and it's hard to put a value on rare things."

True enough. In fact, I think a thing can't be rare if it isn't hard to find.

A young rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Credit: Theoperatingsystem (Creative Commons)
A young rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Credit: Theoperatingsystem (Creative Commons)
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House plants are becoming increasingly popular among millennials, spiking particularly during lockdown.

Writer and plant enthusiast Alice Vincent told The Guardian last year that house plants help ease young people into responsibility.

She said: "Millennials don't have the housing and security our parents had. We grow up slower and that does not mean we don't want to connect, have something to nurture."

Don't start bidding four grand on pretty little plants though, guys, or housing and security will only become an ever more distant fantasy.

Featured Image Credit: Trade me/hurley88

Topics: New Zealand, World News

Jake Massey
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