As promised in our previous featured article, we have obtained not one but two new and different forms of variegated Pilea Peperomioides! They arrived in a parcel from the Netherlands yesterday and we have not seen these anywhere before, having only appeared on the Internet over the last few weeks. The supplier we bought them from claims to sell them exclusively, but we have seen a couple of other sellers too – as such unique plants, we can hardly expect other growers not to get in on the action!
So, the first new variety that we have to introduce is Pilea ‘White Splash’. This breed is characterised by flecks and speckles of white all over the leaves, standing out against a vivid green background. It actually looks like somebody has flicked a paintbrush at it. Reportedly, these increase in number and become larger as the plant matures – we can’t wait to see how our plant develops. We have noticed that these white spots only occur on the upper side of the leaves, which are otherwise quite similar to the usual green pilea variety in terms of thickness, shape and structure. We have seen photographs online of this variety with larger, irregularly-shaped patches of white, which are absent from our plant so far – it will be interesting to find out whether these appear later on!
The other new breed of variegated Pilea Peperomioides that we have encountered is Pilea ‘Sugar’. This type differs much more significantly from the typical green Pilea. In terms of variegation, the leaves of this plant are subtly marbled, with white streaks criss-crossing the green background all over. Again, these variegations are only present on the upper surface of the leaf. Additionally, they appear to follow the leaf veins to some exent, although the markings are quite irregular and chaotic in appearance.
Much more significant than the intricate marbling, is the shape of the leaves – unlike ‘White Splash’, the leaf shape for this breed diverges wildly from that of the pure green Pilea variety. Immediately, you will notice the wobbly, amorphous edges, with no two leaves having the same shape. It can clearly be seen that the leaf margins are comprised of definite, distinct lobes, but they are connected in a seemingly random way. This randomness can also be seen in the texture of the leaf surfaces, which could be described as ‘smoothly bumpy’ on both the upper and lower surfaces. Even the internal structure itself shows these characteristics, with the leaf veins appearing distorted in comparison to the elegant geometric curves seen in the original Pilea.
We will be keeping our eye out for new and unusual Pilea varieties, and will continue to update our readers on how ‘Sugar’ and ‘White Splash’ grow and develop!