A very attractive foliage plant with unusual coloration, varying from the green pigment when viewed from above, to the distinctly purple-coloured leaves and stems when viewed from below. Unfortunately, the plant is very susceptible to a dry atmosphere and prefers a high level of humidity. The thin leaves, which are borne in a horizontal manner, quickly lose water by transpiration and will dehydrate, resulting in brown edges and even leaf loss. The plant should therefore be placed in a situation that is sympathetic to its needs, or grouped with other plants to create a humid microclimate.
Plant type : Foliage plant with leaves borne horizontally on erect stems
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 20 - 40cm (8—16in)
Flower : Insignificant, borne on erect stems amongst foliage
Leaf : Oval leaves, 15-20cm (6—8in) long, 5-7.5cm (2—3in) wide with unusual patterning of bold green blotches and veins above, purple below
Temperature : 18—21C (65-70F)
Aspect/Light : Moderate light well away from brightly lit situation
Humidity : high
Watering : Keep compost moist throughout year
Feeding : Once every two to four weeks with houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Tease apart clumps and plant separately from mid spring to early summer at 21 °C (70°F) in houseplant potting compost
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Red spider mite, mealy bug, root mealy bug, yellowing of leaves due to draughts or over-watering
Availability : Often available throughout the year
Uses indoors : Good for display on its own or in group
Other varieties : C. makoyana - more subtle green patterning, C. omata - green and pink striped