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A plant that prays

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TOUCH OF EMERALD Maranta
TOUCH OF EMERALD Maranta

Maranta adds colour to gardens

The Maranta (or Prayer Plant) is cultivated for its colourful leaves that spread during the day and become straight in the evening. Hence, the name Prayer Plant. Three small varieties of this are popular as house plants.

The smallest of the three, Maranta leuconera, has elliptic leaves that are four inches long and two-and-a-half inches wide in soft green.

The second variety, Maranat kerchoveana, is slightly larger. It has tender leaves, emerald green in colour with red blotches between the lateral veins. Maranta erythrophylla or tricolour is the largest of the three with six-inch-long leaves, dark crimson lateral veins and dark green blotches between the midrib. The remaining part is yellowish green.

The plants should never be exposed to direct sunlight. They should be grown in loam based compost.

CHITRA RADHAKRISHNAN

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