A creamy white confection-like beauty... Calathea warscewiczii
Explore Jul 27, 2011 #15
Vanilla ice cream? Wedding cake icing? No, it's a rare beauty with a tiny visitor.
Besides attractive leaves, Calathea warscewiczii also produces showy cone-like inflorescences. The bracts that cover the cone are creamy white in color when they first emerge and gradually turn to yellow and take on a pinkish hue with time. They are arranged spirally around the cone and the rims of these bracts fold over the edge, which make the entire cone look somewhat like a rose flower when viewed from the top!
Calathea warscewiczii is one fussy prayer plant to grow. It needs bright, filtered sunshine. Direct sun can burn the leaves of this plant. It needs to be grown in an area with high humidity and protection from winds, like the Rare Plant House at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
It is also picky about the medium it's grown in. It grows best in a well-drained mix rich in organic matter. The fibrous roots need to be in contact with moist soil at all times. Mulch generously to keep the roots moist and cool. Waterlogged conditions should also be avoided as roots can rot.
A prayer plant relative and a member of the Marantaceae family, this plant has a curious habit of folding up its leaves as if one puts two hands together during prayer when night falls. This herbaceous plant is native to Costa Rica and Nicaragua and produces lanceoate leaves that have a dark green background and an attractive fishtail pattern on the upperside of the leaves. If conditions are optimal, the leaves that are covered with fine silvery hairs leaves, which make them furry to touch, can grow up to almost one foot long. The leaves have a maroon colored underside.
Windows to the Tropics, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami FL