leaves within a leaf

leaves within a leaf

i spent an afternoon at our local conservatory in como park, which is easy to underestimate when you live in the twin cities, but which is really quite spectacular and beautiful and just the kind of humid tropical escape that someone with dry skin can benefit from on a bone dry winter day. at the conservatory i came across this leaf, which looked like a stalk of leaves growing inside another leaf. i was just so jazzed and inspired at having spent an afternoon rediscovering the como park conservatory, and then newly discovering this rare and exotic leaf. in fact i was so inspired that i (may or may not have) pinched off a leaf or two in order to photograph them later. when i got home i looked the leaf up and found to my dismay that it was the leaf of a rattlesnake plant, a quite common indoor tropical plant from brazil, to which wikipedia devoted exactly three grudging paragraphs. then, adding salt to my wound, the wiki page called those elegant dark leaves within leaves . . . i hesitate even to employ the word . . . wiki called them . . . blotches. welp. thanks for ruining a great day, wiki. remember how i donated to you last year? yeah . . .

rattlesnake plant leaves (calathea lancifolia)

  • Jerilynn Lijewski says:

    This plant is one of my current favorites….not only the beautiful front markings, but also the burgundy-purple colored back of the leaf. Oh! And the crimping-iron edges! It lives quite happily in Northern Wisconsin by a corner window in a room that gets fairly cold at night. I let it get dry before a good watering. It spreads out during the day, and prays at night.


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