Botanical family: Araceae

Common names:

  • English
  • Pallette des Peinteure
  • Hausa
  • Djarma
  • Gourmanche
  • Tamashek
This native of tropical South America and the Caribbean is perhaps the best known of the ornamental Aroids, widely cultivated in both green houses and tropical gardens.
Caladium bicolor was introduced to Europe from the New world by early Portuguese explorers and by the 18th century was a popular hothouse plant with numerous different leaf colorations, ranging from almost pure white to bright scarlet. Those with large leaves has been called Caladium hortulanum while others with smaller leaves were called Caladium picturatum. In a garden Caladium likes rich, well drained soil and moist, cool conditions. It is likely to die back during a dry spell but will return with the rains and spread. The tuberous bulbs of potted specimens should be dried off and rested after completing their growth cycle. Propagation is by plant separation.

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