Caladium bicolor (Fancy-leaved Caladium, Angel Wings) [sometimes Caladium x hortulanum]

Native to the Tropical Americas, Caladium bicolor are shade-loving plants have heart-shaped to sagittate leaves. The corms can be overwintered easily, and they reproduce vegetatively fairly frequently. The flowering structures, consisting of a peduncle and yellow-green spathe enclosing the spadix, occur in groups (although they occur infrequently in North America). The leaves are extremely colorful and attractive.

Caladium bicolor (Fancy-leaved Caladium, Angel Wings, Heart of Jesus)
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 7-10
Height: 30-60 centimeters (12-24 inches) tall
Diameter: 30-45 centimeters (12-18 inches) across
Growth Rate: slow
Age: perennial, frequently grown as an annual
Root System: The roots grow from the top of the corm, fibrous.
Family: Araceae
Subspecies: MANY cultivars exist, well over 1000

Tolerates: heavy shade
Problems (major): root-knot nematodes (major, reduce overall size), Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DMV), Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Schlerotium, Erwinia
Problems (minor): tuber rot, leaf spots, aphids, mealy bugs, white flies, lepidopterous, and spider mites
Poisonous: Yes, calcium oxalate crystals and Asparagine are toxic if ingested.

Soil requirements: prefers slightly acidic (5.5-6.5), nutrient rich, well-drained soils
Air Requirements: prefers high humidity (~75%)
Watering requirement: moderate
Sun requirement: part-shade to full shade

Leaf shape: heart-shaped to sagittate
Leaf size: up to 30 centimeters (12 inches), including the lamina)
Flower structure: consists of a short peduncle, a yellow-green spathe, and a spadix covering the flowers, frequently show up in groups (if flowers occur at all)
Flowering frequency: uncommon in North American areas
Bulb/tuber: corm
Monocot/Dicot: monocot
Annual/Biennial/Perennial: perennial

Notable characteristics:
The leaves are very attractive color-wise. These tolerate a great deal of shade and can be overwintered easily.

Uses:
Angel Wings are occasionally used in gardens in shady areas to add color. These should not be consumed, as they contain compounds which are toxic upon ingestion.

Sources used:

Caladium_02
A
 mature caladium leaf at SIU Carbondale’s greenhouses

Caladium_03
S
omewhat blotchy-colored leaves

DSC05554
The corms sending out new leaves protected in these sheaths

DSC05781
A brand new leaf, almost entirely unraveled

DSC05928
A
 completely unraveled leaf

DSC05929
M
ore leaves emerging from caladium corms, a colorful leaf can be seen emerging from the sheath on the right

1 
Red and green leaved caladiums with an emerging inflorescence

2  A freshly opened inflorescence 

3 
Older foliage

All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.

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