Cryptanthus zonatus

 

  • Known as: Alternating current, Earth Star, Guinea Wing, Zebra Plant
  • Place of origin: Brazil
  • Description: Belongs to Bromeliaceae family. This is a small, terrestrial species about ~22cm tall. The prickly-edged, stemless leaves grow in a rosette directly from the root. The flowers, usually white, are in a stalkless, dense bunch at the centre of the rosette. The strap-shaped leaves of C. zonatus are greenish brown or coppery on top with bands of tan or brown.
  • Grow best: Needs bright light to diffused light conditions to grow well. Otherwise bands fade. Moist atmosphere desired but do not overwater or plant roots will rot. Well-draining mix of 4 parts Coco peat, 1 part vermiculite, 1 part perlite, 1 part  clay aggregate and 1 part composted cow manure will be ideal. A slow-release fertilizer combined in the potting mix is recommended. Propagate from offsets or pups which can be easily rooted. Cut the pup when half the size of the mother plant.
  • Use: Offsets ideal for terrariums. Use in novelty planters.  Provides a great tropical effect and accent of colour if used en masse in containers, hanging baskets, window boxes or planters. Also provides accent for edging or border for grouped plantings.