New Zealand houseplant sells for $ 19,200 in online auction war

Offers for the “Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma very rare white variegated” closed Sunday night, rising in the last four minutes as bidder “foliage_patch” faced the eventual winner, tagged “meridianlamb”.

Trade Me spokeswoman Millie Silvester told CNN the plant was “the most expensive houseplant ever sold” on the auction site.

“After a heated bidding war in the final minutes of the auction, the rare plant has had over 102,000 views and over 1,600 watchlists, showing just how much Kiwis love Kiwi plants. interior, ”she said in a statement to CNN.

In New Zealand dollars, the bid was $ 27,100. Silvester said the average price of a houseplant on Trade Me rose from NZD 34 in May 2019 to NZD 82 last month, with rare varieties commanding “huge prices.”

“Houseplants have become the ‘it’ item over the past couple of years, we’ve seen prices go up more and more as more Kiwis jump on this new trend,” he said. she declared.

“This plant has 8 leaves of which the 9th is about to unfold. Each leaf has excellent variegation, as does the stem and is well rooted in a 14cm pot,” says seller’s description of Rhapidophora Tetrasperma. “Hurley88”.

“Variegation” refers to two or more different colors in the leaves of the plant.

Rhapidophora Tetrasperma is native to Thailand and Malaysia, according to the Kew Royal Gardens Online Plant Register.

Hurley88 said the condition of this specimen was “used” and that collection from its location in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, was preferred.

There were 248 bids for the plant.

At the end of last year, the same seller listed a variegated Monstera factory on Trade Me which sold for 6,551 NZD, pledging 1,000 NZD of the proceeds to charity.

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