Showing posts from October, 2013

Calathea zebrina


The Gorgeous, Velvety Calathea 'Jungle Velvet'
The Maranta Family has some real jewels in it, and some of them have made great landscape plants for a subtropical landscape or conservatory. One that has caught my attention recently is Calathea zebrina and its close ally C. warscewiczii. Both are beautiful foliage plants, and even more so when in flower. A great friend in the Kendall neighborhood grows a picture-perfect version of Calathea zebrina, usually called 'Jungle Velvet', with soft, butter-cream colored flowers, set against surreal striped / mottled foliage. The tradition with growing this group of plants is that they like deep shade, and most every book calls for the plants to be strictly understory plants. The plant seen in these pictures is growing in strong morning sunlight in Miami, with direct sun until almost noon. This plant is one of the best-grown I've seen for this species, better than most commercial growers. It is remarkably cold-hardy, r…