Calatheas , part of the Marantacea family are among the most colourful and attractive foliage plants.                                         

They are native to the understorey  in tropical areas of Central America


Most species have regular patterns on their leaf surface, some have a velvet feel to their surface
Many species have a purple back to their leaf and at least one (C. warscewiczii) have a strong velvet feel to the underside with C. rufibaba has a furry feel underneath.



Calatheas are very effective as house plants, but can also be useful planted in warm shady areas outdoors
Mulch heavily and keep the roots moist

For details of individual species -