Working with agricultural brand S&G Flowers/USA, a division of Syngenta Seed that had been growing plants since the early 19th century, Nintendo of America bred the Pikmin flower (and also gave it the punny name “bacopa cabana”) from the Sutera cordata plant, designing it with five white petals and a yellow center. Sutera cordata, also known as Chaenostoma cordatum, is native to South Africa, and, with enough sunshine, blooms into tightly packed, small round flowers. Chaenostoma are short-lived, evergreen perennials that grow annually in colder climates, can be a charming addition to gardens, and look great mushrooming out of hanging baskets.
Like gaming, gardening is an extremely popular pastime, and by combining the two, Nintendo hoped to catch the attention of hobbyists who perhaps hadn’t considered picking up a controller instead of a trowel before. “As the number one pastime in America, gardening continues to take on broad consumer appeal among people of all ages,” said Keith Cable, S&G Flowers’ then-Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With fun products like ‘Pikmin,’ Nintendo is connecting with consumers outside of the living room.”
With the marketing campaign for “Pikmin” running over two decades ago, officially branded seeds for the Pikmin flower are now hard to come by. But it’s pretty easy to grow cousins of the breed from the same genus, with flowers that closely resemble the ones inspired by the “Pikmin” characters. You can even find bacopa seeds on Amazon, like this Pikmin-esque Snowtopia breed. It would be great, however, if Nintendo started growing a real-life piranha plant to promote the next “Mario” game, because that would be a really fun addition to your garden.