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Green-Thumbed Man Grows Plants Worth $15,000 Per Leaf, Inspired by Grandmother’s Love


A green-fingered Brit has grown the finest collection of houseplants, including one species worth £ 12,000 ($ 15,500) per leaf.

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Tony Le-Britton, 30, turned his living room into a jungle and transformed his spare bedroom into an incredible greenhouse to fuel his passion.

It has collected some of the rarest plants in the world, including one that was believed to be extinct.

And Tony, from Gloucestershire, England, is now whipping the leaves of another rare species for thousands of pounds a leaf at eager pickers.

Tony, one of the best hair and beauty photographers, attributes his success with plants to not obsessing over them.

Your prized possession? That would be the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Variegata, the most valuable species in your collection.

Tony said: “The non-variegated plant is really common; it can be picked up at most supermarkets and garden centers. But my version, that’s the genetic mutation, it’s completely random, which makes it weird. Is the only one in the world [with that leaf pattern].

“I have already taken three pre-orders at £ 12,000 each, per sheet. There is a waiting list. Many people have contacted me. It’s like growing money on trees! “

Tony is also the proud owner of a Monastera sp Bolivia, which is currently not documented by science.

He said: “[It’s] from a botanical collector in Austria. I got it as a very small piece of stem. It has grown to enormous proportions.

“I put a photo online and a botanist in the field in Bolivia contacted me to ask for more photos, he had no record of the plant.

“The only way to find out what it really is is to find it in nature. Using the stem and the leaf, we can identify the family to which it belongs. “

A Begonia Chloristica, an exotic plant once thought to be lost in the wild, also has a special place in Tony’s greenhouse.

He added: “It was thought to be extinct until a couple of years ago. I managed to find one from a collector in Europe. “

Tony said his interest in plants comes from his grandparents, who brought him to their garden when he was a little boy.

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He also remembers sitting at his grandmother’s feet and watching the popular BBC television show ‘Gardener’s World’.

CHECK OUT: The English grow 500 types of edible food with just a few hours of work a month

Tony said that his grandmother Cora was known in the local area for her collection of plants, which he has tried to emulate.

Stunning images now show the results of more than two decades of hard work, with two of its rooms filled with hundreds of plants.

He said: “It just stuck with me, I grew up in the garden. It’s about the experiences I had when I was younger, being on the farm with my grandparents.

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“People always admired [Cora’s] garden, and she made me part of that. It’s in my blood, I guess.

“I did not study plants formally, but I feel that 25 years of cultivation teach you to understand.

“You learn to let the plants go ahead. I think some people can take too much care of their plants.

“In the living room, I reserve about three hours every three weeks. I cut off the dead leaves, check the roots and water them.

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“The greenhouse has temperature, humidity and light control, so I can check that everything is fine on my phone. It really doesn’t take much.

“I go in there every day, but that’s because I enjoy it.”

Tony regularly posts photographs on his 29,000 followers on Instagram, where is the envy of the plant world.

‘Gardener’s World’ has even been in touch to do a show from his home after viewing his social media page, which he described as life coming “full circle.”

Tony added that he has never calculated the total cost of his collection, but he guessed it could be significant.

He said: “From an insurance standpoint, it definitely adds to value. It’s probably worth more than some houses!

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“But I have this collection of incredibly rare plants that, from the outside, no one would ever guess, and I love that.”

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