This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
A species closely allied to C. invperialis but differing in the broader and shorter leaf - blades, darker color of the under sides of the lvs , transverse striation between the veins, the hairy character of the petioles and under side of the leaves Habit erect, spreading with age: growths bearing 1-4 leaves; blades ovate, or elliptic-ovate, up to as much as 2 ft. long when adult, acute, green above (in the adult stage), rich plum-red below; leaves in the juvenile stage are striped with bright rose which become white in the intermediate stage and entirely disappear in the adult; petiole erect, stout; sheath extending from one-third to one-half its length, upper part terete; leaf - scales, petioles and under sides of the leaves slightly pubescent. Brazil. - C. ornata, C. imperialis and C. Sanderiana are probably all forms of one very variable species.
Habit tufted, dwarf and compact: growths bearing 2-3 leaves and from 1/2 -3 ft. high; blade linear-lanceolate,3-18in.long, undulate, acute, glabrous, upper side highly glabrous, pale yellowish green shading to rich olive green at the edges, and with a row on either side of the midrib arranged pinnately of alternate long and short blotches of dark olive-green, giving the plant a most distinct and striking effect; under side a rich dark maroon-red; petiole 3-20 in. long, rigid, slender; sheath only developed near the base, upper part terete, green. Brazil. J.H. III. 45:218. - One of the most beautiful foliage plants in cultivation and one which thrives well in a hot moist stove in a mixture of leaf-mold and sand.
A garden hybrid. Habit spreading: growths with 2-5 leaves 1-3 1/2 ft. long, 12-20 in. long, elliptic, silvery white, feathered with pale green above and rich reddish brown below; petiole 12-20 in. long, pale green, striped along the back with red; sheath extending up to within 4-8 in. of the If . - blade, upper part terete and slightly channeled on upper side, glabrous in all parts.
Habit loose, light and elegant, erect at first, spreading with age: growths bearing 2-3 leaves, 2-5 ft. high; blade elliptic, occasionally lanceolate, acute, undulate, 12-20 in. long, rich dark velvety green above, dull red below; petiole 1-4 ft. long, erect; sheath extending to one-third the length of the petiole, upper two-thirds terete, dull green in color: infloresence arising from center of the growth of the leaves, an erect globose spike with large foliose; bracts: flowers 2-3 in the axil of each bract, 1 in. diam., primrose in color, petals shaded with purple; tube 1 in. long; bracts green, reflexed, upper ones forming an umbrella-like mass under which the flowers are developed in the axils of the lower bracts. tropical Amer. R.H. 1904, p. 576.
Habit medium to strong: growths with 3-7 leaves and 1-3 ft. high; blade elliptic, acute, undulate, 12-18 in. long, rich bright velvety green with a bright yellowish green channeled midrib above, light red below; petiole erect, rigid, covered with soft tomen-tum; sheath extending from one-third to one-half the length of the petiole, upper part terete. - Closely allied to C. nigricans.
Zebra Plant. Fig. 738. Habit compact, 1-3 ft.high: growths bearing from 6-20 spreading leaves; blade elliptic, obtuse or acute, slightly undulate, 3/4-2 ft. long, upper side rich velvety green, with alternating bars of pale yellowish green and dark olive-green, under side light purple-red in the adult stage, and pale grayish green in the young stage; petiole 1/2 -2 ft. long, pale green; sheath large, canaliculate, and extending nearly the whole length of the petiole; scape short. Variable. Brazil. B.M. 1926. L.B.C. 5:494. R.H. 1865, p. 90. S.H. 1:164. Lowe, 1. - The commonest species, occurring in nearly all collections of warm greenhouse plants.
Fig. 738. Calathea zebrina.
Variety Binotii, Hort., is a stronger - growing variety with darker colored foliage, with leaves as much as 4 1/2 ft. long. - One of the finest and best stove foliage plants in cultivation, of easy culture and one that should be in all collections.
Weaker grower than C. zebrina, the leaves lighter colored, with two series (large and small) of broad green bars. Brazil. - By some considered to be a form of C. zebrina.
Rather large: leaves 2 ft. long, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, purple beneath, dark, velvety green above, but the midrib broadly feathered with yellow-green. Costa Rica. F.S. 9:939-40. Gn. 17:560. Lowe, 17. - One of the best.
Leaves unequilateral, cordate at the base, ovate-lanceolate or rarely oblong, attenuate-acuminate, smooth, silvery green above, finely striate, with parallel greenish or whitish markings along the primary nerves, purplish or greenish beneath. Brazil.
C. argyraea, Koern. Leaves very short, unequal, oblong-lanceolate, short-acuminate, above deep green and ash-colored, beneath purple. Country unknown. - C. arrecta, Lind. & Andre. Tall: leaves oblong, red beneath, green above, with the nerves all prominent. Ecuador. I.H. 18:77. - C. bambusacea, Poepp. & Endl.=Ischnosi-phon. - C. Baraquinii, Regel. Leaves oval-lanceolate, green, with bands of white. Brazil. - C. fascinator, Hort. Dwarf: lvs broad-ovate-oblong, purplish beneath', green above and with blotches of lighter color and transverse narrow bars of red. Brazil. I.H. 41:104 (as Maranta Fascinator). - C. gigas, Gagnep. Eight ft.: If. - blade lanceolate, 2 ft. long, 8-10 in. broad, violet-purple when young but becoming green; petioles 5 ft. long: spike cylindric, about 4 in. long, bearing 8 pairs of yellow-and-white flowers tropical Amer. - C. hieroglyphica, Lind. & Andre. Dwarf: leaves short-ovate, short-pointed, purplish beneath, green above and marked by many oblique bands or bars of silvery white.
Colombia. I.H. 20:122-3. - C. Kerchoveana, Hort.=Maranta bicolor variety - C. Lageriana, Hort. Leaves large, dark red beneath, the prominent veins rich bronze. - C. major, Hort.=Ischnosiphon. - C. Massangeana, Hort.=Maranta bicolor var Massangeana. - C. medio-plcta, Makoy (Maranta prasina, Bull). Leaves oval-lanceolate and tapering to both ends, dark green, with the rib feathered with white from base to summit. Brazil. - C. musaica, Hort. (Maranta musiaca, Bull). A dwarf-growing species with obliquely cordate ovate leaves 4-6 in. long, glabrous, acute, upper side pale shining green marked with numerous close set transverse veins of a lighter shade; petiole 3-6 in. long. Brazil. - C. Oppenheimiana, Morr.= Ctenanthe. - C. pardina. Planch. & Lind.=C. villosa. - C. smarag-dina, Lind. & Andre=Monotagma. - C. splendens and splendida, Hort.=Maranta splendida. - C. villosa, Lindl. Large: leaves 10:20 in. long, oblong-ovate, pale green, with dark brown angular blotches: flowers yellow. S. Amer. F.S. 11:1101-2 (as C. pardina); also, Lowe, 32. L.H.B
C. P. Raffill.