Give 2 Me Your Leather. Take From Me My Lace. - Alsobia dianthiflora

 |Alsobia dianthiflora petal detail|

|Alsobia dianthiflora petal detail|

So lately, in my world, a hot topic has been super sexy houseplants.  I know that might sound a bit racy for some of you, but, I'm talking about houseplants that offer a little more than a lump of static greenery.  Now don't get me wrong, there are some outstanding green foliage houseplants out there.  You just gotta know where to look. In my travels this summer, I stumbled across a plant that I don't see too often.  Don't know if you've met?  Everyone...this is Alsobia dianthiflora.  Alsobia dianthiflora this is everyone.

 |Alsobia dianthiflora floral profile|

|Alsobia dianthiflora floral profile|

In some circles, this gorgeous angel of elegance is referred to as Episcia dianthiflora and commonly in others as the Lace Flower Vine.  It is in the gesneriad family of plants.  You know some of Alsobia's common name cousins...African Violet and Gloxinia.  When I first saw the fringe and frill of its dreamy, illuminating ivory flowers I was a goner.   So elegant yet so savage.  Be still my horticultural heart!  Alsobia dianthiflora comes to us from the climes of places like southern Mexico and Costa Rica.  It is a perennial plant that is replete with sumptuously soft, downy deep green leaves and produces stunning white trumpet-like flowers, whose petals are detailed in a filigree of white foxy fringe.  As an added bonus, for those who like to look a bit closer, the throat of each flower is delicately spotted with dreamy drops of violet color.

 |Alsobia dianthiflora foliage + flower + form|

|Alsobia dianthiflora foliage + flower + form|

Alsobia dianthiflora likes bright, indirect light, shady spots, and can tolerate a part-sun situation outdoors.  It vines up to around 3 feet long if it's happy and gets about 8" tall.  It's low and likes to stroll.  It likes to set its roots down in a well-draining, fertile soil and prefers regular water.  It's hardy down to around 35 degrees fahrenheit/1.6 degrees celsius, if outdoors.  I keep mine on the porch and let it creep and sprawl its way around.  Looks so luxurious that way.  It also does well indoors and makes for one sexy houseplant.  So if you're in the mood for a houseplant with a lush, plush, knight-in-white-satin kind of vibe... look for, find, and grow Alsobia dianthiflora. You can find them online here.  You might even find them at The Plant Provocateur. Huh?!  What's that you say?  Stay tuned...