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Caladium humboldtii Schott

Family Name: Araceae
Common Name: Elephant Ear, Angel Wings
Semi-Shade Lots of Water Interiorscape / Indoor Plant Ornamental Foliage Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Shrub
Maximum Height 0.2 m to 0.3 m


Native Distribution Brazil & Adjacent Venezuela

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous perennial grows from a tuber and forms dense clumps.
Foliage Thin, arrow-shaped leaves with entire leaf margin are dark green with irregular white patches (10 - 14 cm long, 4 -7 cm wide). Leaves are borne on long petioles (10 - 25 cm long) without a stem.
Flowers This species does not produce flowers or fruits in cultivation.
Cultivation This slow-growing species is easy to cultivate. The tuber should be planted at a depth of twice its height in well-drained potting soil that is kept moist. It grows best in a humid environment and should be misted frequently. Feed regularly with a 8-8-8 NPK fertilizer. It is prone to attack by mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids, as well as susceptible to tuber rot, leaf spot and leaf burn. Leaf spot is a minor fungal disease that causes brown spots; infected leaves should be removed. Leaf burn is a browning along the leaf edge that results from dehydration and excess sun or fertilizer. Propagate by dividing the tubers.
Etymology The genus "Caladium" is believed to originate from the South American name for these plants ("kale" or "kaladi"). The species epithet "humboldtii" was named after Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859), a German naturalist and explorer who documented plant species in Latin America. His research formed the basis of the field of biogeography.
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: All portions of the plant are toxic upon consumption, causing inflammation of the mouth and throat and stomach pain. Contact with the plant sap may cause skin irritation.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, White
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Image Repository



Master ID 448
Species ID 1744
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 27 July 2020.