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 this aesthetically pleasing variety – now Geoppertia kegeljanii Network, and bred from C. musaica – has unusual, and simply stunning variegation. The leaves have a mosaic-style pattern of yellow 'tiles' of varying sizes, arranged in rows emanating from the centre, and with apple-green 'grout', all with a waxy sheen to the surface. The underside of the rippled-edge leaf is the same yellow, velvet-soft to the touch.
Interestingly, the leaves of calatheas close at night and reopen each morning in a process called nyctinasty (if you listen carefully, you might hear them rustle!). This has given rise to the term 'living plant', and makes calatheas a good plant for the bedroom, as it follows the rhythms of the day. As they are shade loving, they are also happpy in a hall or dark corner in the living room.
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, which can be trimmed to keep it in check. C. Network is a bushy variety, and tends to be easier to care for than other calatheas.
Pot size: 14cm
Pot illustrated is not included.
Care: Prefers low light, but can tolerate some sun. Water thoroughly, but allow to dry a little between waterings. High humidity through misting and so on is preferable but not essential for this variety. Do not use leaf shine products on a Calathea.
Note: Not toxic.