Grown for its showy, tropical foliage, the intricate markings on Calathea's leaves look like they have been painted on. Recently reclassified as Geoppertia, Calathea has broad, pointed leaves. Patterns vary from variety to variety, but they are often light green with regular dark green dots and splodges in a dramatic arrangement resembling the skin of a rattlesnake, sometimes tinged crimson. The underside of the rippled-edge leaf is a usually contrasting dark maroon, velvet-soft to the touch. Interestingly, the leaves close at night and reopen each morning in a process called nyctinasty (if you listen carefully, you might hear them rustle!).
Not just a looker, Calatheas also serve a useful purpose in the home, by purifying the air of many nasty toxins.
Calatheas will quickly fill a pot through spreading rhizotomous roots.
Care: Prefers low light. Do not use leaf shine products on a Calathea.
Note: Not toxic.