Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’

10 Feb

Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Indirect bright to low light

Flowering period: All year round

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 30cm

Eventual Spread: 40cm

Hardiness: 10b, 11, 12, 13

Family: Marantaceae

Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ is an evergreen tropical perennial with a clump forming habit. Its dark and light green leaves have pink veins are ovate with entire margins, up to 12cm long and 6cm across. Its leaves tend to lay flat during the day and roll up into an erect position during the night. Its white tubular flowers are insignificant and appear on long stems. It should be noted this plant rarely flowers when grown as a houseplant. Its roots contain rhizomes.

The species, Maranta leuconeura, commonly known as Prayer Plant or Rabbit Tracks, is native to the Brazilian rainforest. In its native habitat it grows as a tropical woodland understory plant.

The etymological root of the binomial name Maranta is named after Bartolomea Maranti ( ? – 1571), a Venetian botanist. Leuconeura is derived from the Greek Leuko meaning ‘white’ and  neura meaning ‘string’, in reference to its leaves.

Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ useful as an attractive foliage houseplant suitable for indirect bright and low light conditions.

Ecologically, Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ is of little value in to UK wildlife.

Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

When maintaining Maranta leuconeura ‘Tricolor’ as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 18ºc to 27ºc, it will tolerate a temperature as low as 15ºc. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out every two weeks during the growing season. Regular spraying with water will help to improve the humidity for this plant. Red Spider Mite may attack this plant. Regular pruning of old growth will encourage a more attractive plant.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Rhaphiolepis umbellata

9 Feb

Rhaphiolepis umbellata (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Rhaphiolepis umbellata (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Rosaceae

Rhaphiolepis umbellata is a slow growing evergreen shrub with a bushy habit. Its leathery dark green leaves are ovate with entire margins, up to 7cm long and 5cm across. Its fragrant white/ pale pink flowers are up to 2cm across and appear as terminal panicles. Its blue/ black fruit are fleshy berries.

Rhaphiolepis umbellata, commonly known as Yeddow Hawthorn or India Hawthorn, is native to south Japan and south Korea. In its native habitat it grows in mixed scrub.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rhaphiolepis is derived from the Greek rhaphis meaning ‘needle’ and lepis meaning ‘scale’. Umbellata is derived from the Latin umbella meaning ‘parasol’.

Rhaphiolepis umbellata Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Rhaphiolepis umbellata Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Rhaphiolepis umbellata useful as an evergreen specimen shrub. It may be maintained as a hedging species. Once established this shrub is somewhat drought tollerant and tolerant of maritime conditions.

Ecologically, Rhaphiolepis umbellata flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its fruit are attractive to some birds and mammals.

Rhaphiolepis umbellata prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Rhaphiolepis umbellata requires little maintenance. Necessary pruning should be carried out after flowering.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Calathea zebrina

8 Feb

Calathea zebrina (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Calathea zebrina (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Bright indirect light

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 80cm

Eventual Spread: 80cm

Hardiness: 10b, 11, 12

Family: Marantaceae

Calathea zebrina is a tropical evergreen perennial with a clump forming habit. Its light and dark green leaves are distinctly stripy, ovate with entire margins, up to 50cm long and 20cm across. Its white/ pale purple flowers appear on short flower stalks at the base of the plant in dense spikes, below the canopy of the plants leaves. Its roots have fleshy rhizomes.

Calathea zebrina, commonly known as Zebra Plant, is native to south east Brazil. In its native habitat it grows as a tropical woodland understory plant.

The etymological root of the binomial name Calathea is derived from the Latin calathus menaing ‘flower basket’, in reference to its flowers. Zebrina is from the Latin and refers to this plant being striped like a Zebra.

The landscape architect may find Calathea zebrina useful as an attractive foliage houseplant, suitable for bright locations.

Calathea zebrina Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Calathea zebrina Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Calathea zebrina is of little benefit to UK wildlife.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Calathea zebrina their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Calathea zebrina prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

When maintaining Calathea zebrina as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly, although it should never be wet. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 18ºc to 24ºc, it will tolerate temperatures as low as 15ºc. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out every two weeks during the growing season. The leaves may be sprayed with water to increase humidity. Red spider Mites, Mealy Bug and Scale Insects may attack this plant. This plant dislikes sudden temperature drops.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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