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You Can Buy a Birkin (Plant) on Amazon

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

As Strategist editors and writers, for better or for worse, we cannot turn off our shopping brains. With ‘Saw Something, Said Something,’ we’ll be writing about the tiniest of details that have caught our eye — status toothpaste in the background of Lizzo’s TikTok, a plant so rare it’s called a Birkin, or a specific face cream in a Roy sibling’s medicine cabinet.

I was flipping through the Logee’s catalogue last month when I discovered the Philodendron Birkin. (Logee’s is a greenhouse in Connecticut with a wide selection of rare and tropical plants; Martha Stewart is a fan of the store, and it reciprocated by naming a begonia after her.) For a brief, absurd moment, I wondered whether the plant was named after Jane Birkin before confirming that it’s a reference to the Hermès handbag — the story goes that the philodendron was originally so rare and pricey that it drew comparisons to the highly valued bag.

Unfortunately for Philodendron Birkin sellers but fortunately for us, prices have deflated to a reasonable $25 for a four-inch to six-inch pot. The plant itself is lovely, with light pinstripes across its leaves that resemble hand-drawn lines. One thing to note: The Birkin is an unstable mutation of the Rojo Congo philodendron, and can spontaneously revert to producing large, reddish leaves (or, in some cases, half-and-half pinstripe and red leaves.) A small but devoted band of Birkin truthers on the National Gardening Association forum have documented instances of variation from the plant’s typical phenotype. Their consensus is that, at the lower price, the randomness is easier to accept.

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You Can Buy a Birkin (Plant) on Amazon