Plant of the Week: Homalocladium platycladum
Tapeworm Plant

Homalocladium platycladum

Homalocladium platycladum is an interesting plant; the flat usually leafless stems resemble tapeworms. Tapeworm plants will reach 3-4 feet in pots, but in nature they will reach 12 feet. It is a native to the Solomon Islands.

Blooming Time: Fall-Winter The small green flowers appear at the joints of stems and are followed by red fruits.

Culture: Homalocladium platycladum will grow in full sun to full shade, but seems to do best in partial shade. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. The soil should be kept moist at all times. Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Dieback at the tips is a problem in the drier winter months. This is usually due to the lack of sufficient humidity, so try to keep humidity levels above 50% to counteract this problem.

Propagation: Homalocladium platycladum is easily propagated by cuttings or by seed. Seed should be sown fresh, germinating in 14-21 days at 70°.

Homalocladium platycladum was featured as Plant of the Week November 10-16, 2000.

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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.