Callisia fragrans, also called the basket plant, is a great subtropical for beginners. Generally green or variegated green and cream in color, these plants have a secret. When exposed to lots of light, they may pick up purple hues in their leaves.
Originating in Mexico and parts of South America, this herbaceous plant is interesting. It has become naturalized in parts of the southern United States and in the West Indies. As a subtropical species, it performs best in controlled climates or in warm ones. The name “false bromeliad” is occasionally used in reference to this plant. In bright light conditions, the leaves lay down and give it the look of a bromeliad cluster. But in partial sun to shade, it resembles a dracaena with its more upright leaf pattern. Creeping stems will take root easily where they make contact with the ground. Because of this tendency, it’s also referred to as the inch plant. On occasion, it’s also called the octopus plant due to its tendency to send out runner-like stems. Those stems can reach up to 35 inches in length!