Folk/Other names: Calatheas, Prayer Plants, “Silver Plate” (a particular breed), etc.
Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 11-12
Frost Tolerance: Keep above 60°F (15°C)
Sun Exposure: Shade
Watering Needs: Keep uniformly moist
About: The Rattlesnake Plant, of the Prayer-Plant Family, is of the Genus Calathea, and the family Marantaceae that contains several dozen species in the genus. Found throughout the tropical Americas, the plant is also found as a popular pot/houseplant due to the decorative nature of the leaves or its colorful inflorescences.
Folk/Cultural Uses: Large and tough leaves often used for holding small items. Used unprocessed to wrap fish for transport in parts of Brazil; Handicraft to produce containers; Quivers of the Nukak people of Columbia; decorative Calathea-leaf rice containers in Thailand.
Biological Importance: herbivores such as the caterpillars of the Purple Owl (Caligo beltrao) feed on C. zebrina. Several species of this plant are threatened with extinction due to habitat destruction.
Rattlesnake Plant at National Arboretum from Brazil
Smithsonian, National Mall, Washington, D.C.More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calathea