Breathe Easy

Jordan’s Jungle in Pawtucket specializes in air plants, the low-stress house plant


One minute, you’re walking down a bland corridor. But turn a corner, and you’ll find Jordan’s Jungle, a lush greenhouse of levitating plants. The old brick mill in Pawtucket may seem like an odd place for a nursery, but owners Darin Wildenstein and Jordan Ford love their 4,000 square feet of semi-tropical showroom. Here they display 150 varieties of air plants – more scientifically known as Tillandsia – a genus of perennials that latch onto larger things.

“Air plants are great because they do not grow in soil,” says Darin. “They are epiphytes, which means that they would naturally grow suspended from other plants or objects. They are not parasites, as they do not steal any nutrients or anything from their host; they just use the host as a place to call home. They do not drink through their roots, as other plants do, but instead from tiny little fuzzy spots on their leaves, called Trichomes.”

Air plants are mostly native to Mexico and Latin America, and they wouldn’t fare well in a New England winter. But they make great house plants, since they require elementary care and will quickly freshen up stuffy living quarters.

“They all take carbon dioxide and nitrogen out of the air and release clean oxygen,” says Darin. “So many people come into the Jungle and as they walk in, they take a big breath, because there is a noticeable difference in the air quality when you have plants cleaning it for you." 545 Pawtucket Ave, Pawtucket