Monday, June 24, 2002

Calathea ornata

This weekend I went to my favorite nursery and got a plant I'd seen there before, a Calathea ornata. I am intrigued by its striking leaves: dark glossy green with bright pink stripes. The first late afternoon I had it, I thought I had mortally offended it because it drew up its leaves into a vertical position, almost as though it was hugging itself, but the next morning the leaves had opened out again. Well, in looking for a picture of it on Google this morning, I found out that leaf behavior is typical.

Here is a picture of a leaf, from the site of Raphael Carter:

He also gives some hypotheses of why the leaves fold up at night, along with a time lapse photo of the plant. (I'm not sure if my computer downloaded the photo correctly, but it only shows the leaves rising partially. The leaves on my plant end up completely vertical as though they were stuck together. [Edit: Raphael Carter pointed out that the plant in the time lapse photo is a Maranta, not a Calathea.])

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