Caladium

Elephant Ears, or Angel Wings, or Heart of Jesus.

It doesn’t matter what you call them, Caladiums are spectacular ornamental plants that make a wonderful, colourful addition to any tropical garden.  With their large, heart-shaped leaves marked in varying patterns in white, pink, and red, they certainly add spectacular contrast.

Those veins run across the leaves like a river across the plains.

This is another photo from my archives for Becky’s ‘In the Pink’ Square in September photo challenge.  The photo was taken in January this year and sadly, I killed this plant soon after.

But here’s the good news.

Although all the leaves died and shrivelled up and rotted away to create mulch on the surface of the potting mix in the container this plant was living in, Caladiums grow from tubers, not bulbs.  As the tubers multiply without much effort on the part of the gardener, new plants can be easily propagated by dividing the tubers.  I forgot all about this until I was recycling the potting mix, tipped the contents of the container (aka, the pot) into ‘the mix’, and “Voila!” out fell the tuber.  It was HUGE and has since been safely planted elsewhere – actually in the garden – and I am now eagerly awaiting a leaf to magically appear out of the ground.

I think it will take a little more than a sprinkle of water and an overnight rest like Jack’s bean seeds.  But I am patient all the same.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

Caladium is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae family.  Araceae are also known as the arum family in which flowers present on a type of inflorescence called a spadix – this is a spike-like structure that has small flowers on a fleshy stem. The spadix is usually accompanied by, and sometimes partially enclosed within, a bract. (I’ve spoken about bracts many times before, so click this link to read more about these unusual, often spectacular, modified petals.)

This family includes Anthuriums, Calla Lilly, Peace Lilly and Philodendrons.  The list goes on and on because there are thousands of them.

There are two distinctly different type of Caladiums.  Those with heart-shaped leaves, and those with leaves more spear or arrow-shaped.  I have a few and one is a beautiful deep green with white contrast and arrow-shaped leaves. It feels like velvet to touch.

Can you spot the water droplet from the other photo? That leaf was at least 30 cm across (12 inches).

So far, the Caladiums I own have not grown any flowers, but I remain hopeful.  I certainly hope the tuber belonging to this one sprouts again.

5 Replies to “Caladium”

  1. Love Caladiums Clare and I do not think I have seen a flower, I thought they were more about the coloured leaves

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought so too Fran. But they do belong to a flowering plant family. I’ll be on the look out for blooms from now on.

      Like

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