CARICATURE PLANT

FAMILY: Acanthaceae | GENUS: GRAPTOPHYLLUM pictum

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Filtered Light
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • House Plants

Plant Details

This frost-tender native of New Guinea is prized for its fancy marbled foliage. Reaching 68 feet tall and wide, it features handsome, glossy, deep green leaves about 6 inches long and half as broad. Distinctive cream-colored marbling decorates each leaf along the midrib. In summer, purplish red, tubular, 112 inches-long flowers are borne in short clusters. 'Alba Variegata' has leaves heavily and irregularly edged with cream. Aurea Marginada' is similar but with golden edges. 'Chocolate' offers leaves mottled burgundy-green and bronze, with pinkish cream marbling and deep pink midribs. 'El Dorado' has medium green leaves with wide, irregular margins of golden yellows. 'Tricolor' has bright green leaves with white marbling and pink midribs. In frostless locations, may be used as a landscape plant in light shade; the broad, colorful leaves make a good contrast to ferns.

Plant in well-drained soil con- taining lots of organic matter. Elsewhere, grow in pots that are brought indoors to a bright location during late fall and winter, or grow as houseplants year-round. Keep soil evenly moist and make sure potting mix drains well. Prune lightly or pinch out growing tips to promote bushy growth. Propagate by cuttings. Susceptible to nematodes in Florida.

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