Stromanthe sanguinea "Tricolor"
I had one of those fun mornings. We've got a cold front blowing
through, so I spent much of the AM right here trying to ID a plant.
It's a plant that someone convinced our retail folks that it's a
ginger--Peppermint Ginger, they call it. The nursery people put some in
a big pot in the landscape office atrium. I suppose to acquaint the
landscape sales-design staff with it. Fortunately, or not, I recognized
My first wife's father was a house plant grower in Southern California
and for the 2 years preceding his death, I was his salesman. This was
one of the plants he grew; the 1902 edition of Bailey's "Cyclopedia of
Horticulture" [our only reference] called it Maranta tricolor.There are
significant differences between the Marantaecae and Zingberaceae
It's no longer Maranta tricolor--and, I guess, hasn't been for a long
time; at least I didn't find any listings for that name. But I sure
took the grand tour of the Calathea and Maranta genuses looking for,
first, photos and, second, plant societies. I found no photos that
resembled the plant and no plant societies. Finally it dawned on me
[duh] to go to Dave's Garden's data base and search on "Marantaecae"
because that data base includes family names and many, if not most,
entries have pictures.
Well, it did, and the match was simple. Like, Eureka! It's new moniker
is "Stromanthe sanguinea 'Tricolor'." So I added my picture to the data
base. If you'd like to see it, it can be accessed at
The cultural requirements for the plant are scary--no sun, no temps
below 60, lots of humidity. A ginger it's not. But stunning under the
right conditions, it is.
I don't know if there's a picture of it in A2Z [mine's at work], but if
it is it will be interesting to see what it has to say about it;
there's also a plain-jane green one with darker green markings.
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
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