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Calathea is a genus of plants belonging to the family Marantaceae. There are several dozen species in this genus.
The unusual inflorescences are upright, shaped like a rattlesnake's rattle, up to 10 inches (25 cm) long, and consist of stacked leathery floral bracts with small, yellow or yellow-orange flowers peeking out at the edges. The relatively inconspicuous actual flowers are tubular and have 3 unequal lobes. The flowers are followed by 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) long, egg-shaped seed capsules containing dark blue seeds surrounded with white flesh. The leaves are large, dark green above with paler green along the midrib, grayish green with often purplish margins below, ovate in shape, and pinnately-veined with parallel lateral veins. The plants grow from underground rhizomes.
The best way to water a Calathea Plant is to use distilled water, rain water, or allow your tap water to sit out over night before using it. Keep the soil of a Calathea Plant moist but never soggy. Allow the top 2-3to dry out before watering. Never let a Calathea Plant sit in water.
Calatheas need to be protected from strong winds wind and even mild cold. Prolonged direct sunlight is harmful. If planted outside in colder areas, during winter the leaves take a beating in the cold. If you wish, cut off all the l eaves and stems - at the start of spring, fertilize and all will be well.
In warmer areas, Calatheas can be planted outdoors in shaded areas (minimum outdoor winter temperature is 12 degrees).
In colder areas they can be grown as indoor plants.Calatheas are tolerant of lower light conditions, making them great indoor houseplants.
Special features: This plant is grown for its attractive foliage. Houseplant for bright areas with no direct sun. Popular landscape plant.
can easily be grown in larger containers
Culinary use: Leafs
Ornamental use: Calathea crotalifera is one of the important ornamental plants belonging to Marantaceae family.
This plant species can produce a very attractive inflorescence and have been used in landscaping especially for screening and indoor plants.
The other Calathea sp. has also been used widely in horticulture industry due to its attractive foliar colors and variegation patterns
The large and striking leaves are the attraction for tropical gardeners and indoor plant lovers as well.
Medicinal use: To expel a retained placenta, 1 leaf with stem is chopped and boiled in 1 quart of water for 10 minutes and half cup consumed cool every 10 minutes untill the bleeding stops
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