Calathea crotalifera – Rattlesnake Plant
Scientific Name: Calathea crotalifera
Common Names: Rattlesnake Plant, Rattle Shaker, Rattlesnake Ginger, Yellow Rattleshaker
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Flower Color: Bracts: Yellow, Green, Red, Brown
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 m) tall
Description: The unusual inflorescences are upright, shaped like a rattlesnake's rattle, up to 10 inches (25 cm) long, and consist of stacked leathery floral bracts with small, yellow or yellow-orange flowers peeking out at the edges. The relatively inconspicuous actual flowers are tubular and have 3 unequal lobes. The flowers are followed by 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) long, egg-shaped seed capsules containing dark blue seeds surrounded with white flesh. The leaves are large, dark green above with paler green along the midrib, grayish green with often purplish margins below, ovate in shape, and pinnately-veined with parallel lateral veins. The plants grow from underground rhizomes.
Here in Hawaii, Rattlesnake Plant has escaped from cultivation and now grows wild in some wet to mesic (moderately wet) areas.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Marantaceae – Prayer-Plant family
Genus: Calathea G. Mey. – calathea
Species: Calathea crotalifera S. Watson – rattlesnake plant
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