Classifications and Characteristics
|Plant Growth Form||Shrub|
|Native Distribution||Tropical America|
Description and Ethnobotany
|Growth Form||A robust herbaceous shrub with usually unbranched fleshy stems and large elliptic leaves arching gracefully from the upright stems. Very commonly grown for its foliage, which has interesting patterns and markings, especially as an indoor or houseplant.|
|Foliage||Glossy dark green with creamy white to yellow lines, spots, or patches. Large (up to 45cm long, elliptic to slightly lanceolate, smooth, entire margins.|
|Others - Plant Morphology||The sap of this palnt is poisonous and must not be allowed to come into contact with the mouth or eyes. The calcium oxalate crystals in the sap cause irritation and swelling of the tissues in the mouth and throat, resulting in possible loss of speech for several days (hence the common name Dumb Cane).
To date, there are no known cases of death from ingestion or through contact of these plants. In addition, this plant species has been a popular indoor plant for a very long time due to its ease of maintenance and ability to tolerate low light conditions in the house or office. In circumstances where there are young children and animals, precautions can be taken by placing or relocating the plants out of their reach to avoid accidental or unintentional ingestion or contact of the sap upon breakage of the plant parts.
|Cultivation||Hardy plants that require little maintenance. They prefer bright filtered light but are able to tolerate dark conditions, however, variegation may be lost if they are kept in the shade for prolonged periods. Prefer slightly acidic, moist soil. Soil high in coco peat is ideal. Soil should be allowed to dry slightly before watering.|
|Desirable Plant Features||Ornamental Foliage|
|Landscape Uses||Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant|
Plant Care and Propagation
|Water Preference||Occasional Misting, Lots of Water|
|Mature Foliage Colour(s)||Green, Yellow / Golden|
|Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio||3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)|
|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.|