Maranta leuconeura

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Prayer plant
Maranta leuconeura3.jpg
foliage and flowers
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Maranta
Species: M. leuconeura
Binomial name
Maranta leuconeura
  • Calathea leuconeura (E.Morren) G.Nicholson
  • Maranta massangeana E.Morren
  • Calathea kerchoveana (E.Morren) André
  • Maranta kerchoveana E.Morren
  • Maranta kerchovei Van Geert
  • Maranta leuconeura var. kerchoveana E.Morren
  • Maranta leuconeura var. massangeana (E.Morren) Planch
  • Calathea massangeana (E.Morren) G.Nicholson
  • Maranta massangeana atrata G.Nicholson
  • Maranta massangeana florentina G.Nicholson
  • Maranta massangeana metallica G.Nicholson
  • Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura G.S.Bunting

Maranta leuconeura (prayer plant) is a species of flowering plant in the family Marantaceae, native to the Brazilian Rainforest.[1] It is a variable, rhizomatous perennial, growing to 30 cm (12 in) tall and broad, with crowded clumps of evergreen, strikingly-marked oval leaves, each up to 12 cm (5 in) long. The leaves have a habit of lying flat during the day, and folding in an erect position at night, hence the common name "prayer plant".[2][3]

The specific epithet leuconeura means "white-veined", referring to the leaves.[4]


Maranta leuconeura is a well-known houseplant in temperate regions, requiring a minimum temperature of 15 °C (59 °F). In warmer climates it can be grown as groundcover in moist, shady areas. Numerous cultivars have been produced.[2] The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • Maranta leuconeura var. kerchoveana[5] (rabbit's foot), dark blotches between the leaf veins
  • Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura[6] (herringbone plant); strong red veining on dark green leaves


Rosmarinic acid can be found in plants in the family Marantaceae such as Maranta leuconeura.[7]

prayer plant "praying", i.e., raising its leaves for the evening


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Maranta leuconeura
  2. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  3. ^ "Missouri Botanical Garden - Maranta leuconeura". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Maranta leuconeura var. kerchoveana". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Occurrence of rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid and rutin in Marantaceae species. Yana Abdullah, Bernd Schneider and Maike Petersen, Phytochemistry Letters, 12 December 2008, Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 199–203, doi:10.1016/j.phytol.2008.09.010