The pandemic has created a surge of interest in hobbies, and horticulture appears to have become a very popular pastime with many Chiang Mai residents.
Social media went wild this week when a much coveted dappled, or spotted, leafed musa balbisiana (banana family) was discovered in Chiang Mai.
A coffee shop had a display with this plant which the owner bought for 20,000 baht, then a customer this week purchased the plant off the café owner for 60,000 baht.
Dappled or spotted leafed plants are all the rage amongst Thailand’s horticulturalists these days, with a woman from Mae Rim’s Muang Kaew sub-district telling CityNews that she wanders her neighbourhood every few days looking for spotted leafed bananas. She says that she also often sees cars and motorbikes slowing down when driving past the area’s many banana trees which line the road, in hopes of hitting the dappled jackpot.
The owner of the plant which sold for 60,000 baht said that he runs the family-owned Forest Friends Chiang Mai Café in San Sai’s Nong Jom. His older brother loves plants and gardening, and is in charge of the business’s décor, the seller of the plant itself, Arthit Khamchaiwongs, said that he runs the coffee shop itself while his younger sister is the chef. He went on to say that their sister now offers up a unique menu featuring many marijuana leaves such as mushroom pizza marijuana, rice and marijuana omelette, various marijuana drinks and many other offerings which are all legal and using leaves bought from Maejo university.
He did add that his special plant had been a very big draw over the past few months, with many customers coming in just to admire it.
Since he has gained some public interest, he is now offering his café as a place for all lovers of plants to come and share their plants, buy, sell, swap or just talk plant.
Since he opened his plant-exchange, he said that it is gaining more and more popularity with a nice crowd of like-minded people coming together daily. If interested please call him at 097-9589696.