Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Basket Plant, Chain Plant, Inch Plant
Callisia fragrans

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callisia (kal-LIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: fragrans (FRAY-granz) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

44 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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15 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative melanie81 On Oct 27, 2012, melanie81 from Lancashire
United Kingdom wrote:

I received a Callisia Fragrans plant two days ago and yesterday bought good compost and put the plant into a pot with the compost. Very sadly today three of the leaves have begun drying at the ends and they are now shriveling up(!) I gave it some water but didn't go overboard with the watering because I know they can die quite easily. It's getting enough light and is indoors and in moist compost....

I don't really know what else I can do to save it and am certain that it's gradually dying. Can anyone help?

Neutral purpleinopp On Jun 11, 2012, purpleinopp from Opp, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this plant, at first, then it starts looking like I need to do something to it. I know I don't, but it's just very unkempt and completely random in appearance. If you like to multiply your plants, get some pots ready for this one! This plant is invasive INSIDE, crawling/falling into nearby pots, and causing little voices in your head that urge you to stick a piece in pots with other plants, to fill the "empty spot." I think the flowers smell awesome! One of the flower stalks got broken by the wind so I stuck it in a jar of water. The flowers still open some days, months later, and it has formed roots and several new shoots. The purple color seems almost arbitrary on my plant(s,) not always doing it in full sun or in shade. Inch plant as a common name must refer to how fast it grows daily.

Neutral swedienne On Feb 5, 2011, swedienne from Gothenburgh
Sweden wrote:

Hello everybody! I live in Sweden and I am looking for this plant but cant find it here. Is there anybody who can send me seeds or a small plant? Send me an e-mail if you can to so we can make some kind of agreement about how to to it. Regards Maria

Positive gray_53 On May 15, 2010, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

A relative of mine calls it Grandfather's Pipe (a much more fitting name than Basket Plant, don't you think!)

Positive fix766 On Oct 15, 2009, fix766 from Holiday, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

A coworker who is from Russia has just passed on some cuttings of this plant to me. She told me several stories of it's medicinal uses in Russia. Her grandmother has long made elixirs by adding leaves to Vodka and stores them for use. They also milk the sap from leaves and stems. My coworker had been diagnosed several years ago with precancer cells and internal cysts. Her mother gave her an elixir every day for six months. On her next visit to the doctors the cysts were gone as well as the precancer cells.
My friend also gives bits of the leaves to her cat and it has cured it's urinary problems.

Positive GardenDetectives On Aug 31, 2009, GardenDetectives from Saint Peters, MO wrote:

Thanks to all who have provided information on this plant. The lady who gave it to me called it Texas Jew and I have never been able to find it again in Missouri. My friend plants it in an old wheel barrel and I have a broken fountain with a large bowl which sits high on a pedastal and fill it with this plant. The babies drape over the large bowl and look very cool. I'm not a very good propigator but this one even roots for me in water where I keep it all winter in a sunny window and move back outside each summer. Next time I share it will be nice to be able to provide the name and data. You guys are the best!

Positive texastalley On Mar 31, 2009, texastalley from Johnson City, TX wrote:

I just found out today the actual name of this plant!! About 3 years ago, a member of our local garden club brought it to our annual plant sale. I remembered it immediately as being a plant my grandmother always had around; but I had not seen it for years. No one ever knew the name of it, but now thanks to the DG plant id service, I can now tell everyone what it is!!! I just love this plant. It's so easy to grow and to start new ones. Every year now I have at least 10 hanging baskets of this attention getting plant to donate to our sale....and the customers love it!!!

Positive msorganic On Mar 29, 2009, msorganic from Dale, TX wrote:

This is a very old, passalong plant. I grew it commercially in hanging baskets back in the 1990's and never had enough. My retail nursery customers often said it was one of the most unusual plants of this variety they had ever seen. When customers did remember it, it was mostly from a grandmother's garden or some other long-forgotten memory. The flowers smell like honey and last a long time, closing in the evening and opening again during the day. My mother grew it in her garden in zone 8. It died back in winter but always came back in spring. Delightful plant!!

Positive plantladylin On Feb 20, 2008, plantladylin from South Daytona, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I received a couple of pups of this plant in my very first trade here on DG. This plant has grown fast and produces new little "pups"during the summer months! Everything I read stated the flowers were fragrant and I was very disappointed when mine began blooming and I could not detect any fragrance whatsoever. It's been blooming now for a couple of weeks and today when I happened to be out on my deck, I detected a faint sweet fragrance coming from somewhere. Lo and behold, it was the Callisia fragrans! Very nice! Seems the fragrance comes as the blooms age.

Positive eltrow On Oct 15, 2007, eltrow from Lynnwood, WA wrote:

This plant is nutritionally beneficial . Russians have been cultivating it for 40-50 yrs and eating as a nutritional supplement and immune boost. I have used it when headaches approach with much success. Chewing the leaves and runners till only fiber remains. Not an unpleasant taste, can be added to salads.

Positive heathersplants On Aug 10, 2006, heathersplants from Broken Arrow, OK wrote:

I have been propegating this plant for years not knowing what it is. I lived in Memphis TN and now Tulsa OK. It grows wonderfully indoors or out in both areas. So glad to finally know what it is called. However I cannot get mine to bloom. I rescued it from a greenhouse where it had been tossed underneath a bench and was spreading like a weed. They were going to throw it out so I salvaged what I could and one piece had remnants of bloom.

How can I get it to bloom again?

Positive podster On Jul 5, 2006, podster from Deep East Texas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Pretty succulent. Too big to look good in a hanging basket. Puts on many runners and new plants. Best to discard the old plant and start a new one as the old plant gets "tired" looking. Mine bloomed freely but fragrance was a disappointment as were the blooms.

Negative MotherNature4 On May 25, 2006, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a Category II Exotic Pest Plant in central and southern Florida. If you want to grow it, please keep it off the ground in a hanging planter. It almost took over my yard when I first planted it. Fortunately it is fairly easy to pull up. I still haven't gotten rid of all of it. I don't think you can kill it unless you pull it up and throw it in a burn barrel. HaHa.

Positive onalee On May 24, 2006, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very easy to grow, great for a tropical feel around a pool, paito or deck.

Neutral mkjones On May 15, 2005, mkjones from Aurora, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Not the necessarily LOVELIEST plant......although, in sun, takes on a lovely purplish tinting/mottling. I simply like plants that propagate themselves--fascinating. This is for someone who loves broms or green foliage houseplants. Now, if/when mine ever blooms, may have to up it to "Positive!"

Nifty plant. Just not a favorite.

Positive henryr10 On Oct 29, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I've had this plant for two years now and it's amazing.

DO NOT let it get loose if you are in an area w/o a hard freeze though.

Here I over-winter small plants, taken from the runners, indoors.

Come Spring place it anywhere a Bromeliad would look good.
(It's not a Brom but you will not be able to tell unless you're up close.)

It creates a very tropical look.
It will root anywhere, brick patio, mid-air, ground,.......if there's moisture or humidity it roots!
I have even tucked it in some compost/sphagnum baskets tied to tree branches for a jungle affect..

By Fall the original plants reach about 24" w/ a 12" spread.
Usually there are a dozen or so 3' runners/plant w/ 3-6 plants/runner.
It will root from every node.

As I said be VERY careful if you're zone 7/8 up!

Positive CanALilyToo On Oct 22, 2004, CanALilyToo from Houston, TX wrote:

I have had my plant for a year. It was found on a ditch in Houston, Texas. I love that this plant is all over the place. I love sharing plants and this one is easy to grow. I haven't had a bloom yet, but I just discovered what this plant was today.

Positive thymekiller On Mar 8, 2004, thymekiller from Aransas Pass, TX wrote:

I have had mine for about 2 months.It was given to me by a friend, who also wasnt sure exactly what it was. A month ago, it began to produce a flower stalk. It has yet to flower, but it wont be much longer now. Perhaps now that I know what it is, i can care for it a bit better. It appears to thrive on neglect. I will post a pic when it flowers.

Positive nipajo On Jan 4, 2004, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I had put in a comment about this plant before but did not have a picture to go with it. I have this plant all over the place. I was told it was called scottish broom. I do not think that they knew what they were talking about though. This plant never stops putting out runners or new plants. I have put it in the ground this year to see if it would come back, but I will just have to wait. When it is exposed to the sun for any length of time it turns a pale green. But when it is in the dappled shade it produces a light purple to it's leaves. It does appear to look like a bromeliad but does not grow like it at all. I have it for several years and never have seen a bloom on it. It thrives on neglect. In any soil, but looks best in a hanging basket.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 5, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant thrives in hanging containers, continually putting out new shoots on runners that can be separated and planted. Bright sun brings out the best color, but the plant thrives in shade, also. It can be planted directly into the ground in late spring, and by mid-summer will have formed a good groundcover. It dies at a killing frost, however. It is very easy to over-winter.

It is considered to be an invasive alien in some states; but this is only a problem in areas that get little winter chill.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Eight Mile, Alabama
Satsuma, Alabama
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Carlsbad, California
Los Angeles, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Brooksville, Florida (3 reports)
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Sebastian, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Venice, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Mcdonough, Georgia
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Galliano, Louisiana
Gonzales, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Rosedale, Maryland
Humansville, Missouri
Saint Peters, Missouri
Las Vegas, Nevada
Cincinnati, Ohio
Altus, Oklahoma
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Duncan, Oklahoma
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Antioch, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Alvin, Texas
Aransas Pass, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Buda, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Garland, Texas
Houston, Texas
Johnson City, Texas
Pleasanton, Texas
Port Arthur, Texas
Roanoke, Texas
San Augustine, Texas
Spring, Texas
Staunton, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Lynnwood, Washington

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