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Foliage Plants

   

Calathea ornata - nice decorative white-lined leaves with purple-brown underside

Calathea ornata - young leaves in which the white lines are partly reddish.
Below in picture: Calathea bachemiana.


Latin: Calathea ornata
Family: Marantaceae
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Indonesian:


Calathea ornata grows well both in pots and open ground. In gardens with enough space they show well in big groups as a ground cover.

As can be seen in the two pictures above, Calathea ornata can show some variety in leaf color. Slightly reddish striped leaves like in the picture on the right show up when older plants are cut back, or make new shoots from their roots. A place in full shade might be an other stimulating factor. The leaves in the picture on the left have a length of 40 - 55 cm. The leaf surface is smooth and slightly shiny. The back side of the leaves have a purplish colour. Leaves have a spread position in the daytime and stand upright in the late afternoon and night. Older plants develop very long leaf stalks that can make them reach a height up to 2 meters.

 

Calathea zebrina in pot


Latin: Calathea zebrina
Family: Marantaceae
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Indonesian:


The surface of the leaves of Calathea zebrina look like velvet, but are actually smooth. The bigger leaves in the picture have a length of about 35 cm and are about 16 cm wide. The back side of the leaves are purple-red. The plants reach a height of about 50 - 70 cm. Calathea zebrina likes a humid place in the shade. It is usually planted in pots, but can as well be planted in groups in a well drained garden bed.
 

Latin: Calathea bachemiana
Family: Marantaceae
English:
Indonesian:


This Calathea species does well in pots, but is as well very suitable as ground cover in partial or full shade. Its leaves are about 15 - 25 cm in length. Plants make continuously new shoots and form clusters that are extending in time . Propagation is easily done by dividing clumps.
Though I never discovered flowers or seeds, sometimes small new plants show up in other parts of my garden. These places are always humid and shady.

Calathea bachemiana

 

Calathea picturata 'Vandenheckei' in pot


Latin: Calathea picturata 'Vandenheckei'
Family: Marantaceae
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Indonesian:


Calathea pictura is originally from Venezuela. This Calathea species remains low and has leaves of about 8 - 12 cm length.  The leaves of Calathea picturata 'Vandenheckei' are decorated with a broad silver-white line form the base to the top and a narrower zigzag line close to the leaf edge. The back of the leaves have a kind of wine-red colour.

wet Calathea picturata 'Vandenheckei' with still rolled up young leaf

 

Latin: Sansevieria 'Hahnii'
Family: Ruscaceae
English: Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Indonesian: Lidah Buaya


Sansevieria 'Hahnii' is a short-leaved Sansevieria variety. It has a yellow and green colored variation called Sansevieria 'Golden Hahnii'. This species likes a sunny place and should not be given to much water, as it might develop leaf rot.

Propagation is easy by taking off shoots from the mother plant or by leaf cuttings. Strange enough leaf cuttings of the yellow variety develop into the grey-green type of the plant. So, propagation of Sansevieria 'Golden Hahnii' should be done by planting shoots.

Sansevieria Hahnii seen from straight above

Sansevieria_'Golden_Hahnii' grown in pot

 

Stag's Horn Fern on stem of Mango tree


Latin: Platicerium sp. (bifurcatum? or coronarium?)
Family: Polypodiaceae
English: Stag's Horn Fern, Staghorn Fern, Elkhorn fern
Indonesian:


The Stag's Horn Fern is an epiphyte that usually grows on trees or rocks. Like you can see in the photo on the left this fern makes two kinds of leaves. One kind is the 'nest leaves' that develop close to the stem of the host tree and stand up. These leaves protect the roots with several layers and catch falling water and litter (leaves, animal droppings etc.) that will become humus stored inside the 'nest'. The 'nest leaves' are relatively thin and show a decorative network of veins.
The other leaf type develops from the centre of the growing points and stand in all directions or hang down. These leaves are more fleshy and are branching what make them look like antlers. In this part the fertile lobes will develop. First I thought there is a third leaf type at the base of these growing points: shield-like oval-round leaves. These turn out to be young 'nest leaves'. Nest leaves and young 'antler leaves' are hairy. Older 'antler leaves' are smooth.

I have some problems growing this fern. The little plant that I attached to the mango tree grew well at first and soon did not need the wire with which I attached it. For some reason it showed some kind of rotting later. Over-watering may have been the reason for this. After it nearly died it developed some new parts at the other side of the stem of the host tree. Hopefully these new parts feel better there and will stay healthy. They say that the 'nest' part of Stag's Horn Ferns can grow up to more than one meter in diameter. It will take some time before the fern in my garden will reach that size.

Propagation of Stag's Horn Fern is done by spores that are produced on the underside of the fertile lobes. Spores can be collected on a white sheet of paper placed under the plant. Spores should be sown on a material like peat moss, that is constantly kept humid. An other method of propagation is by carefully dividing the parts of old large plants.

Sunlight playing with 'nest leaves' of Platycerium

 

Latin: Alocasia x amazonica
Family: Arecaea
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Indonesian:


In the old "Exotica - pictorial cyclopedia of exotic plants" of Dr. Alfred B. Graf I found some pictures of Alocasia's very similar with the plant in my garden. First I thought to show this plant under the name Alocasia longiloba, but found some better resembling pictures in the book (and as well in the internet) with the name Alocasia x amazonica. This species is said to be hybrid of Alocasia watsoniana x Alocasia sanderiana.

The determination of Alocasia's seem often to give problems as one single species can grow a variety of leaf shapes. Whatever the correct name of the plant in the picture, its leaves are very decorative. The length of the bigger leaves is about 60 cm. The plant likes a humid shaded place, but can stand some sun.
 

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