Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Verdant Shade - Calathea Lutea

Instead of planting Calathea Lutea in the ground as is normally done, I had them planted in several pots several months ago. These tall majestic plants belong to the large prayer plant family, the Marantaceae. Their broad bluish-green leaves provide much welcome shade and reduce the glare from the hot afternoon sun. Tiny yellow flowers are carried on maroon cigar-like bracts. Read that in some South American country, the leaves are used as food wrappers for cooking in the way we used pandan leaves for pandan chicken.
Add ImageCalathea fronds partially covered by a ginger torch plant

The flowers themselves are transient; probably lasting a day or so but the long lasting bracts are both an oddity and a novelty.

For dinner I wanted to make a leek and mushroom pie from a recipe that I’ve tried over the Chinese Spring festival. Leeks then were abundantly available. This morning I bought leeks but forgot about the mushroom so this dish would have to be taken out from tonight’s meal.

As I was cooling my potted Calatheas with buckets of water, I noticed a bunch of wild mushrooms sprouting at their bases. For a moment, I wonder whether I could make use of these but quickly banished the idea though they look rather innocuous, wholesome and palatable.


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