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Calathea crotalifera


Calathea crotalifera

Family Name: Marantaceae
Common Name: Rattlesnake Plant, Rattle Shaker


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m


Native Distribution Mexico to Ecuador

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large, erect herbaceous plant forms clumps up to 3 m tall. 
Foliage Large, oval to egg-shaped leaves are held upright by long petioles which emerge from the ground. The topside is dark green, while the underside is greyish green with typically purplish margins.
Stems This plant has underground, horizontal stems known as rhizomes.
Flowers The inflorescence is composed of yellow boat-shaped bracts which are tightly stacked in 2 adjacent files that resemble the tail of a rattlesnake (up to 25 cm long). Thin, yellow tubular flowers occur at the tips of the bracts and have 3 lobes.  
Fruits Dry, dehiscent fruits, known as a capsules, are egg-shaped and 1.3 cm long. They contain dark blue seeds.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water


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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden

Image Repository



Master ID 451
Species ID 1747
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: 17 January 2022.