Friday, March 19, 2010


A family of extremely attractive foliage plants native to the jungles of South America that are excellent landscape plants for moist to wet shady locations humid tropical climates around the world. Some can also be grown indoors or in greenhouses.

Calathea acuminata
Leaves are up to 12 x 1.5 inches, are lance in shape and are dark green above and maroon red below.

Calathea burle-maxxii
Native to eastern Brazil and only hardy zones 11 and warmer.
Rapid growing up to 5 feet tall with Bamboo like stems. The leaves up to 30 x 12 inches are bright green and the flower clusters are up to 7 inches

Calathea cylindrica
Reaching up to 6 feet with leaves up to 24 x 12 inches

Calathea louisae
Native to Central and South America and reaching up to 6.5 feet in height. The leaves are dark green with white down the center.

Calathea lutea
Vigorous growing South America native reaching up to 15 feet in height. The huge leaves reach up to 5 x 2 feet in size and are wavy and bright green above and gray below. The flowers are golden yellow.

Calathea makoyana ( Peacock Plant )
Native to the Brazil rainforests and hardy north to zone 9; it requires wet humid conditions. Moderate growing, it forms an evergreen clump up to 40 inches x 4 feet. The leaves are oblong up to 14 x 8 inches; they are patterned cream with dark green markings with the same markings purple below.

Calathea ornata
Native to northeast South America and reaching up to 8 feet in height. The leaves are coppery metallic green with white stripes. They are red below and reach up to 24 x 8 inches with leafstalks up to 12 inches.

Calathea varians
Native to Guiana and reaching up to 3 feet in height. The leaves are up to 18 inches in length and are green above and purple below.

Calathea veitchiana
Native to Peru, hardy zones 11 and warmer and reaching up to 4 feet in height. The foliage is dark green and blotched with yellow-green along the midribs. The dark green areas on tops of the leaves are purple on the reverse below. The leaves are up to 15 x 12 inches in size.

Calathea zebrina
Hardy zones 10 and warmer, and reaching up to 3 feet in height forming a vigorous broad dense clump. The large velvety mid green leaves have dark green markings which are purple red below. They are up to 28 inches in length. Looks like a dwarf Canna and makes an excellent groundcover.

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