Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Leaves, leaves, leaves and more!

I have always been fascinated with leaves. Their so many forms and colors are amazing. This is also the reason why people have been interested in doing hybrids to produce variegations. A normally-colored plant has a normal price, but make it variegated and its price soars!

The more abnormal the shape of the leaves are, the better they are as ornamental plants. This is the reason why the irradiated ornamental plants with spindly leaves and retarded growth command higher prices in the market.

My post today will just be the latest photos i took from the garden. But there are of course a lot more fascinating shapes, colors, sizes out there and inside my files which i dont have the luxury of time to locate at the moment.
This is commonly known as bird's nest, Asplenium nidus. Female and male plants are planted side by side at the above left photo. At the right on top is the male, more slim, darker green, more curls at the edges. At the bottom is the female version, more expanded lamina, paler green color and lesser curls at the edges.

Caladium is one of the taro species which has more variations in leaf colors. The above cultivar shows narrower red color during the juvenile stages (top right), which progresses and widens as the plant matures (bottom left).
There are other caladium variations like the all white and green or the pink and green. However, i have not yet encountered yellow and green or yellow and red! Ahh, there is yellow and red as in the top left lowest leaf! But of course that one is already senescing, and yellowing is expected.
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Lotus plants also have lots of variations, but most specifically in sizes and shapes rather than variegations. The above samples are miniature leaves which fit perfectly in smaller containers. Other variations need ponds for them to show their immense beauty, as the photos below show.

We also have a lot of these Aglonema sp. in the garden, which sometimes grow so profusely that we throw away some plants. It thrives under very limited light that it is still vigorous under the trees.  I originally thought this is Maranta but later on changed to Aglonema. Maranta thrives in high humidity environments but this one can tolerate drier soils. In fact this lump in our garden only receives watering during the rainy season. They are under the trees so minimize water loss.

Sanchezia sp.

Thank you mr_subjunctive of  Plants are the Strangest People for giving me the lead in this leaf ID as Sanchezia speciosa or S. nobilis. I would rather call it Sanchezia sp. to be safe. Some links about the plant and methods of planting are here or here.


  1. Spectacular photos, Andrea! I'm fascinated by the colours and shapes too. Your caladiums are pretty with all the lacy patterns.

  2. I didn't know that bird's nest fern has male and female versions. How very interesting. I have a baby bird's nest fern growing in my garden bed, probably the seeds were brought in by the birds. I'll let it grow and see how. The foliage here looks fresh and luscious.

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  4. Hi Kanak, thanks for your visit and comments. There are still many Caladiums in my file, it is just so impatient of me to look for them and include in that post. There are also the pinks, and the whites.

    Autumn Belle, the 'seeds' of Asplenium nidus are called spores, very small and not commonly transported by birds but may be wind. These spores are located underside the leaves, look at those blackish tiny spots arranged in lines, these are the spores. Remember it is a fern (big fern!), so it bears spores. It is called bird's nest because it looks like a nest, but i wonder if any bird really make nests on it! hehe.

  5. Gorgeous foliage pictures, Andrea! John and I just love leafy plants too...any kind of any color and shape!
    Best wishes for a very blessed New Year 2010! God bless!

  6. Thank you mr_subjunctive for the ID of my unknown leaf. Yes it is a Sanchezia species, maybe a speciosa or nobilis but i will opt for sp. to be safe. Thanks for the lead.

  7. There is no such thing as male and female Asplenium nidus. The wide-leafed Asplenium is actually Asplenium musifolium.

  8. The wide-leafed Asplenium is Asplenium musifolium.


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