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As the story goes, according to Christan Summers, co-founder of Tula House, “The pachira aquatica [money tree] received its nickname from an ancient Chinese story when a poor farmer prayed for wealth and fortune. Shortly after making this prayer, he came across a strange plant growing in his field. The farmer was quickly taken by the plant’s beautiful leaves and elegant stalk, so he took it home and began to grow it so others could enjoy it. From there, he began to sell the seeds of the plant and quickly became a wealthy and prosperous man.”

Summers tells mbg that since the story has been told, “the money tree is often gifted to people when they open a new business or move into a new home… It is seen as a symbol of hope, prosperity, and good fortune.”