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November 2, 2011

Caladium x hortulanum (Araceae) is a collective name for man-made hybrids of caladium, which originates in South America. They are commonly planted in formal Thai gardens where the owner appreciates the shape and colour of the foliage. It is particularly useful in shady areas. Right now there are many caladiums for sale at the Chiang Mai Khamtieng flower market, and it is now in blossom at Dokmai Garden. Surprisingly, our specimen was dormant during the heavy rains and appears now, while it is normally dormant when it gets cool. It survived the heavy rains without any problems.This plant demands irrigation during the dry season.

The leaf of a caladium can be more or less mottled which brightens up a shady corner. Remember that at times the leaves disappear when the plant gets sleepy.

The flowers are typical for the Arum family (Araceae).

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

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