A must have plant that is unique in so may ways. This Calathea is the largest of the Calthea family, growing 6 to 10 feet tall.
It is an extremely beautiful and unusual plant. The oval shaped leaves are broad and attractive, being gracefully held on long stems which gives this plant a very tropical looking appearance. The leaves are heavily pleated with a beautiful waxy backing, which makes the undersides of the leaves look silver. Leaves are around 3 feet long and about 15-20" wide.
The flowers are stunning, although not flowers in the traditional sense. They appear
to be made of thick, reddish/brown coloured wax. The small round bracts nest in and
overlap with each other, resulting in a long, cigar shaped arrangement, giving the plant it's name. The flowers
grow to around 1 foot in length and are fantastic cut flowers, not to mention a
conversation piece! This flower will add subtle beauty to any display.
Calatheas love heat and humidity. This particular species will grow in full sun to half
shade. The large leaves are fairly tolerant of the wind and do no shred easily, although a
slightly sheltered area is always best.
They may be grown outdoors in the garden or as a large container specimen. Soil
should contain a high level of organic matter, and be well drained. Keep them on the
moist side (with perfect soil drainage) and fertilize regularly.
An easily grown tropical!
Click here to visit a site that explains how the Calathea luthea leaves are used as a food wrapper in Panama.