These plants are chiefly valuable for their large, coloured, and variegated leaves, some as much as a yard from top to bottom, and are more or less oval triangular in shape with a deep sinus at the base. The under surface is generally distinct in colour from the upper, while the leaf stalks in many cases are beautifully marked or blotched with different colours. The true species are natives of the Malayan Archipelago and tropical America, but there are many very fine hybrids now in commerce. They like plenty of heat and moisture, and rich organic but well-drained soil, and may be increased by offsets from the old stools in spring.