p90126kLatin and the other languages used to designate botanical names can make the mundane seem compelling, and the unpleasant sound appealing. ‘Nasturtium’ certainly sounds better than ‘nose twister’, which refers to the reaction to the unpleasant fragrance of the flowers. Horticultural professionals can use such language to our advantage, and for more than designating real genera and specie. ‘Necrodendron’ certainly sounds more interesting than ‘dead tree’, and is less likely to offend tree huggers.
‘Pseudodendron’ is a euphemism for ‘fake tree’. Brent, my colleague in Southern California, sometimes points them out in interiorscapes, or worse, in real exterior landscapes. We sometimes analyze them as if they are real. We both are amused to see fake bananas or fake pineapples, or both, hanging from fake cocoanut palms. Sometimes, someone who overhears our conversation feels compelled to inform us that the pseudodendrons that we are so intrigued by are fake. Sometimes, someone asks about growing them in their own gardens.
Of course, hassling Brent about his artificial turf never gets old. It is installed outside of his office to demonstrate how practical it is for clients who are considering it for their landscapes. It really does look great though. Brent probably gives it plenty of fertilizer, and waters it well.
By the time Brent finds out that there is something much worse in one of the landscapes that I work in, it will be gone. Now that it is late January, these fake poinsettias will be removed any day. I will not miss them. Even if they were real, they would still look silly. That is just too much red.
Unfortunately, these poinsettias are perennial. They will be put away until next winter, when they will come out of storage to go back into the same spot in the landscape.

23 thoughts on “Pseudodendron falsifolia

  1. Ah, perennial poinsettia. It reminds me of my childhood. Sad to say, my parents did a similar thing with plastic (because good silks weren’t even available at that point) geraniums. And they too were ” perennial. ” Each year they just spray painted them red again. It’s amazing, with that memory, I ever thought to grow anything that’s alive!


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    1. Oh, plastic geraniums were rad! So were plastic chrysanthemums! My grandparents had plastic grapes on the coffee table in the parlor and in the den. They looked so real. They must have been grown on the healthiest of plastic grapevines.


      1. Oh my! I never heard that before. How silly! That’s it! Was plastic surgery something that people were commonly aware of back then? I suppose it must have been, or it would not have been mentioned in a song.

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      2. Oh my! You may know that this region is known as Silicone Valley (which we natives find to be very objectionable). Because implants are so popular among ladies in Los Gatos, it is sometimes referred to as Silicone Valley.

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  2. An entertaining post. At one time, Iโ€™d have thought they were not a good idea, now I see them as a bit of valient cheer, especially when you see them โ€˜plantedโ€™ in a flower bed. I do prefer plants though!

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    1. I prefer plants too. However, even real poinsettias are so synthetically forced that they would be almost as bad as artificial. They would not survive the weather there anyway.


      1. They never look as spectacular as they do when grown in synthetic environments in greenhouses. The survive outside in mild climates, but even if cut to the ground after winter, they get very lanky and bloom after Christmas.

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  3. I feel that just for fun I will have a block of fake ferns in among the plants we propagate and grow. Of course, the low maintenance will be a blessing for us (ha, ha) and I will smile every time a customer puts a selection of these fakes on to their cart and wheels them out to the check-out.


    1. They would not get that far with them. They are obviously fake when one picks them up. However, when Sunset Magazine did an article of a colleagues garden, he picked flowers from the backsides of gardenia shrubs to stink them in front for the pictues.

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