I am fond of plants from the Marantaceae family. This family includes several genera that are common houseplants, including Calathea (peacock plants) and Maranta (prayer plants), as well as the less common Ctenanthe and Stromanthe. There are actually about 30 genera in this family, but those 4 are the only ones with which I am familiar.
Generally, plants from this family are grown for their striking colors. One of the features I enjoy is watching how all of the new leaves unfurl. Also, mature leaves will retract whenever they dry out. Marantas tend to fold in half (like praying hands), while Calatheas roll into a scroll.
Last week I added 3 new plants from this family to my collection. I found a Calathea at Lowe's for $5 and it was a color variety that I had never seen before. I figured I should snatch it up in case I never saw it again. You know how that goes.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Peacock plant - Calathea roseopicta 'Saturn'"][/caption]
When I found myself driving through north Oklahoma City last Tuesday, I decided I should probably stop by my favorite plant nursery, TLC Florist and Greenhouses. As usual, they had a couple of great plants for a mere $2! I bought 2 different Marantas.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Prayer plant - Maranta leuconeura"][/caption]
Marantas have a wonderful, delicate feel. They are fairly sensitive to soil moisture levels. I try to not let the soil ever dry out.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Red-veined Prayer plant - Maranta leuconeura erythroneuro"][/caption]
Back in January, I added 2 other plants to my Marantaceae collection. One is Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar', which I found for a very reasonable price at Lowe's. It is a beautiful tri-colored plant that I saw in bloom at the Myriad Gardens last week.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="307" caption="Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar'"][/caption]
The other plant is a Ctenanthe, which I got at TLC Florist and Greenhouses. In case you missed my post about TLC, you can see the post here and the photo album here.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Ctenanthe lubbersiana"][/caption]
I will probably post a more thorough guide to plants from the Marantaceae family in the next couple of months.