One foliage which gives so much charm and color in the garden is the caladium, Caladium bicolor. They are planted for the beauty of their leaves and not necessarily for the blooms. In our hot tropics they come alive during the rainy season, but lay dormant under the ground during the dry season, leafless and sleeping.
My caladiums are the old varieties, from friends, from old residential locations, or requested from some big clumps found anywhere in the country. In fact, once while I was in a garden show in a public area, I saw a very small caladium sprout on the roadside which i got and nurtured till it grows bigger and now already lovely.
This variety also have very long petioles and wide leaves. The disadvantage of long petioles is the tendency to droop when there is water shortage. A strong sun is enough to wilt them, so i guess short petioles will be better. I planted this in an area with much eroded topsoil. The rock is basically calcareous or rich in limestone, so to get nutrients the plant has to crack the crevices. Again, my wish is granted, their petioles are shorter with narrower leaves.
are they not lovely?
So with force from my stronger hands, i pried it to open, although the margins are still adamant to follow me. I can now observe that its pattern is different from those which are already there with us, and i love it. This is actually just the first leaf to grow. It has a leathery almost transparent center, with totally absent chlorophyll, and just spread along the margins.
You might disagree with me with the above photo. Yes you are right it is not a Caladium, even if their leaf shapes are the same. They are of the same family, but this is a taro or Colocasia esculenta.