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Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Liliopsida
Subclassis: Commelinidae
Ordo: Zingiberales
Familia: Marantaceae
Genus: Calathea
Species: C. albertii - C. crocata - C. cylindrica - C. lancifolia - C. loeseneri - C. louisae - C. makoyana - C. orbifolia - C. ornata - C. princeps - C. roseopicta - C. rufibarba - C. undulata - C. warscewiczii - C. zebrina


Calathea G.Mey.

Vernacular names


Calathea is a genus of plants belonging to the family Marantaceae. There are several dozen species in this genus. Native to the tropical Americas, many of the species are popular as pot plants due to their decorative leaves and, in some species, colorful inflorescences. They are commonly called calatheas or (like their relatives) prayer plants. Several cultivars, e.g. Calathea cv. 'Silver Plate', have been bred.
Calathea cv. 'Silver Plate'

In its native range, the large and tough leaves are popular for holding small items. Sometimes, they are used unprocessed, e.g. to wrap fish for transport in parts of Brazil, such as the Benevides region of Pará. In other places, the leaves are used in handicraft to produce containers, such as the quivers of the Nukak people of Colombia. Most famous, perhaps, are the decorative Calathea-leaf rice containers produced in some villages of Thailand, especially in Ban Huak (Amphoe Si Bun Rueang) where they are an important source of income and sold to locals and tourists alike.

Calathea foliage is of importance to some herbivores, such as the caterpillars of the Purple Owl (Caligo beltrao) which feed on C. zebrina. For a list of Calathea diseases, see List of foliage plant diseases (Maranthaceae).

Due to habitat destruction, several species are threatened with extinction.

Selected species

* Calathea albertii
* Calathea allouia – Leren
* Calathea altissima
* Calathea anulque
* Calathea bella
* Calathea burle-marxii
* Calathea chimboracensis
* Calathea congesta
* Calathea contrafenestra
* Calathea crocata – Eternal Flame
* Calathea crotalifera
* Calathea curaraya
* Calathea cylindrica
* Calathea dodsonii
* Calathea ecuadoriana
* Calathea gandersii
* Calathea hagbergii
* Calathea insignis Petersen
* Calathea ischnosiphonoides
* Calathea lancifolia Boom – Rattlesnake Plant (= C. insignis auct non Petersen)
* Calathea lanicaulis
* Calathea latrinotecta
* Calathea libbyana
* Calathea lietzei
* Calathea loeseneri
* Calathea louisae
* Calathea lutea
* Calathea makoyana – Peacock Plant
* Calathea micans
* Calathea multicinta
* Calathea musaica
* Calathea orbifolia
* Calathea ornata
* Calathea pallidicosta
* Calathea paucifolia
* Calathea petersenii
* Calathea picturata
* Calathea pluriplicata
* Calathea plurispicata
* Calathea princeps
* Calathea roseobracteata
* Calathea roseopicta
* Calathea rufibarba – Furry Feather Calathea
* Calathea undulata
* Calathea utilis
* Calathea veitchiana
* Calathea wallisii (Linden) Regel
* Calathea warscewiczii Körn.
* Calathea zebrina – "zebra plant"

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Source: Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License