Caladium praetermissum 'Hilo Beauty' is a new species of Aroid. It is relatively new to science and has not been properly identified till now. It is unknown where this plant originated in nature. All prior references have placed this plant in Alocasia or Xanthosoma, but now it has been placed in the genus Caladium. They do have distinguishing features of Caladiums: tuberous habit, leaves usually peltate, blade variegated, cordate-sagittate, sagittate, rarely trisect, with fine venation. I received this plant 3 years ago under the name Elephant Ear 'Hilo Beauty'. It was a very small plant, almost wimpy compared to most Elephant Ears that I had seen, but it was the intriguing venation that I liked. Now at 3 years old, the plant has attained a height of 3 feet (0.9 m) and has a spread of 4 feet (1.2 m). Leaves are bright green with creamy to yellow variegation, 1.5 feet (0.45 m) long and 1 foot (0.3 m) wide with bluish-black petioles. What a great contrast! They are easy plants to grow in containers and in shady landscape sites or by water features. They are hardy in USDA zones 8-11.
Blooming: Our plant has yet to produce a bloom.
Culture: Caladium praetermissum 'Hilo Beauty' does best in 60-75% shade at all times with a rich, well-drained soil mix. In containers, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam and 1 part sand. Plants like to be moist at all times and high humidity levels are best. If grown indoors, they like to be misted on a daily basis to keep the humidity up. If grown in dry air there tends to be yellowing at the margins of the blades and while this doesn't hurt the plant, it does make the leaves a little unsightly. We fertilize the plants monthly all year long.
Propagation: Caladium praetermissum 'Hilo Beauty' is propagated from offsets from the main plant.
Caladium praetermissum 'Hilo Beauty' was featured as Plant of the Week February 25-March 11, 2011.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.