Whether it takes a few decades or a few centuries, humans will probably populate the solar system along with a few animal friends such as dogs, pigs and ants.
While one may also expect bamboo to dominate much of the visible plant life (at least as far as off world forests go), we may find space colony offices filled with a few specific house plants.
(GreenSpaces Blog) We have tried and tested these plants for 15 years at Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park (PBC™ - STIP) in New Delhi, India. It is a 20 year old, 50,000 ft2 building, with over 1,200 plants for 300 building occupants.
PBC™ - STIP is rated the healthiest building in Delhi by the Government of India.* Their study found that there is a 42% probability of increasing blood oxygen by 1% if one is inside the building for 10 hours. [...]
We saved over 15% in energy costs as we did not have to inject 15-20 cfm of fresh air in to the building as suggested by ASHRAE – an industry standard.
Unless one is fortunate enough to live on the Moon, oxygen will be considered a precious commodity off world.
Despite their fancy names, these three plants may not only help keep air fresh and clean, but they could also help reduce the overall cost and energy needed to maintain a space colony (which is good news for space settlers heading for Mars, Callisto and Titan).
While this may mean that off world settlers will have to hire an extra gardener to ensure that these plants are growing up healthy and strong, future colonists may welcome the extra greenery (as it may help keep them from becoming too home sick).
(Hat Tip: LifeHacker)