8 Exotic Houseplants You’ve Never Heard Of

Houseplants bring natural vitality to any interior space, and thanks to modern technology, uncommon varieties from around the world are available to anyone willing to flex their green thumb. If you’re looking to add impact to your indoor garden, check out these 8 exceptionally exotic houseplants you’ve probably never heard of.

  1. Swallowtail or Butterfly Plant (Christia obcordata)

    Swallowtail Butterfly Plant

    Christia obcordata, more commonly known as the swallowtail or butterfly plant, boasts triangular leaves with stripes of pink and green. It prefers a shaded window environment as it will burn in direct sun, and it serves as an epic conversation starter in any home.

    Related: The Best Plants for Every Room of the House

    Wikimedia Commons via Raffi Kojian

  2. Madagascan Palm (Pachypodium cactipes)

    Madagascan Palm

    With a thick stem and waxy green leaves, the Madgascan palm (Pachypodium cactipes) looks like a throwback from the primeval world. As long as it receives sufficient light and well-drained soil, the easy-to-grow plant will reward gardeners with showy yellow flowers.

    Related: It's Not Me, It's You: The 10 Toughest Houseplants to Keep Alive


  3. Wine Cup (Crassula umbella)

    Wine Cup Plant

    Also called “wine cup,” Crassula umbella features waxy, round-cupped leaves that encircle a stalk of yellow-green flowers with reddish-pink centers. Like other succulents, Crassula umbella is easy to care for, and it makes an attention-grabbing centerpiece or decorative accent.

    Related: 8 Plants Never to Grow Indoors

    flickr.com via mutolisp

  4. Red Coral (Rhipsalis ramulosa)

    Red Coral Plant

    Known as the coral cactus or red coral plant, Rhipsalis ramulosa originated in South and Central America before being brought to the United States. Red coral has no spikes, although it’s part of the cactus family, and its flat leaves that cascade downward make it well suited to a hanging pot.

    Related: 10 Forgiving Houseplants You Can Grow Anywhere

    flickr.com via epiforums

  5. Living Stone (Lithops)


    Sometimes called living stone, lithops is a succulent native of southern Africa. The plant resembles pebbles or stones, and it comes in shades of gray, green, rust, brown, green, and even pink. Lithops are small enough to grow on a windowsill or patio table, and a collection will bring an unusual natural element to any room.

    Related: 11 Reasons Your Houseplants Are Dying

    flickr.com via Reggie1

  6. Corkscrew Albuca (Albuca spiralis)

    Corkscrew Albuca

    Easy-growing corkscrew albuca (Albuca spiralis) blooms with yellow, vanilla-scented flowers, and its leaves grow in curly ringlets—hence the name “corkscrew.” A native of the African desert, it requires little water, and houseguests won’t be able to resist gawking at its extraordinary appearance.

    Related: Here’s What Your Favorite Houseplants Look Like in the Wild

    etsy.com via Arvice30

  7. Variegated String of Pearls (Curio rowleyanus 'Variegata')

    Variegated String of Pearls

    If you desire a rare succulent, check out the showstopping Curio rowleyanus 'Variegata', which is commonly known as variegated string of pearls. The plant’s long, trailing tendrils are punctuated by pea-shaped leaves that store water and add cascading beauty wherever the plant is displayed.

    Related: 7 Houseplants with Secret Health Benefits

    etsy.com via jquinsucculents

  8. Crinkle-Leaf Begonia (Begonia moyesii)

    Crinkle-Leaf Begonia

    Crinkle-leaf begonia (Begonia moyesii) may be small and compact, but it provides a grand feast for the eyes with its stunning, deeply veined foliage. Its crinkled green leaves have a dark maroon underside, which pairs nicely with its white summer flowers.

    Related: 7 Ways to Buy Yourself a Green Thumb for Under $40


  9. Foolproof Florals

    Foolproof Florals

    Not feeling so adventurous? If these wild houseplants aren’t your taste, give these basic ones a try that are sure to thrive, whether you have a green thumb or not.


  10. Don't Miss!


    With a pinch of effort and almost no upkeep, you can have the lush, beautiful garden of your dreams. The secret is to choose plant varieties that enjoy a little hardship. We’ve compiled the essential list of hardy flora, with tips for care and maintenance. Go now!