Bright capricious: types of fittonia for growing at home
The rainforests of South America are a haven for naturalists and botanists. Even in the century before last, among the lush greenery, scientists were attracted by decorative leafy species of Fittonia. In fact, the plant is not at all large, and if it were not for the original color of oval or ovoid leaves, the creeping shoots of Fittonia would have been waiting for their researcher for a long time..
But how to get past the green-pink, white-green, purple, violet or olive-carmine curtains?
Thanks to the incredible color of the leaves, named after the Fitton sisters, the British popularizers of the botany Fittonia began to enjoy incredible success among amateur flower growers around the world..
Classifications and interesting facts about Fittonia
Today, many varieties of this culture have been bred, the famous giant and dwarf fittonias, but scientists have not come to a consensus regarding the classification of the plant..
One school of botanists distinguishes three independent types:
- fittonia Vershaffelt (Fittonia vershaffeliti);
- Fittonia argyroneura (Fittonia argyroneura);
- giant fittonia (Fittonia gigantea).
However, there are many opponents of this opinion, who believe that Fittonia is a single species, only possessing rare variability. Obviously, the proponents of both theories have their own arguments. We can only say for sure that the overwhelming number of cultivated varieties of a perennial herb was obtained through selection work and does not occur in nature..
From their natural progenitors, indoor Fittonia species received:
- love of moisture;
- capricious disposition worthy of such bright beauties;
- climbing, creeping or erect shoots;
- inconspicuous, white or yellowish flowers collected in spike-shaped inflorescences.
It is the imperceptible flowering that the plant owes to the brightness of the leaves, which serve as a bait for pollinating insects..
In addition, there are some more interesting facts about Fittonia that her fans will be curious about..
The unusual color of the leaf plates serves as a warning to herbivores that can harm not only small plants, but also themselves. Although official sources do not mention the toxicity of certain types of Fittonia, locals have long collected and thawed its leaves. The drink obtained from them is used as a medicine for headaches and toothaches, as well as during Indian rituals as a hallucinogen..
Types of fittonia for home cultivation
Named after the German botanist of the nineteenth century, Fittonia Vershaffelt is a small herbaceous plant. In nature and in pot culture, the flower is grown as a perennial. And its characteristic feature is willingly branching creeping shoots, covered with pubescent ovoid or oval leaves..
The Vershafelt Fittonia leaf plates cannot be confused with any other crop. The network of veins on them is painted in shades contrasting with the rest of the plant, which makes a 10-15 centimeter plant incredibly noticeable and unique. Getting on fertile soil, the shoots on the nodes quickly give rise to roots and take root. This variety traditionally includes plants with bright pink, purple, burgundy veins..
Flowering, like other Fittonia species, is very modest. Green inflorescences-ears with single yellowish flowers covered with stipules appear above the green cap..
Plants with white or silvery veins on a dark, purple, brownish or light green background are referred to the group of silver-veined fittonia. You can hear that this species is called White-tailed Fittonia, which is also true, but it is considered a somewhat outdated version of the name..
Within the population there are quite large varieties, small-leaved varieties and real dwarfs, sincerely loved by gardeners who design terrariums and decorative aquariums. An example of such a dwarf fittonia is F. argyroneura Nana with leaves no more than 2–3 cm long.
Fittonia the giant is a giant exclusively among its fellows. The height of the plant does not exceed half a meter, and the length of velvety leaves, slightly compressed along the veins, reaches 15 cm. The flower’s “record” size is not due to creeping, like in other species, but to erect or slightly lying stems.
Ovate with a pointed tip, the leaves can be either deep green or purple-purple. At the same time, the network of veins is not as noticeable as on small plants, and is painted in reddish or pinkish tones..
Fittonia varieties for indoor floriculture
Flower shops most often offer flower growers small pots of young plants decorated with Fittonia Mix labels. Novices mistake the inscription for a variety name, but connoisseurs know that this is just a commercial name for hybrid plants for commercial use..
They are unpretentious, compact, decorative and suitable for growing in a pot or aquarium. However, in order to collect a truly precious collection of Fittonias, you should pay attention to varietal specimens..
Indoor fittonia Fortissimo is distinguished by an oval or almost rounded shape of small leaves, on which a bright network of red-pink veins flaunts.
The broad-lanceolate leaves of the Frankie Fittonia are painted in delicate pink or coral tones, on which the scattering of green splashes and the same thin shuttlecock along the edge of the plate look especially exquisite.
The magnificent Josan Fittonia combines all shades of red, coral pink, green. Young leaves are noticeably lighter. Which perfectly highlights the centers of the rosettes and gives the whole curtain a wonderful volume.
Fittonia Red is addressed to original natures. This is a real riot of colors, and traditional green here plays only the role of a thin edging.
Breeders have long been working on entire collections of Fittonia varieties and hybrids. An example of this is the Red Vein Fittonia series dedicated to wine with dark green leaf plates pierced with bright wide red veins..
Fittonia silver-veined Pink Vein is softer than its “sister” in the family. The plant has white-pink veins, the color of which is much richer on young foliage..
Fittonia White Vein has a fresh, spring green foliage and a snow-white vein network..
Although White Anne is also a silver-veined Fittonia, it has a very different impression. The leaf plates are corrugated along the edge and framed with a dark green border. And chalky white streaks, spreading, occupy the entire leaf area.
Fittonia Skeleton with greenish-yellow leaves dotted with a network of pink veins is especially recognized among flower growers..
Dwarf Fittonia Perseus belongs to the extensive group of Vershafelt fittonia. A small plant barely reaching a height of 10–12 cm has creeping pubescent stems covered with oval-pointed leaves. Pink or crimson veins are clearly visible on the green background color of the leaf plates..
The original fittonia of Mosaic Kings Cross is most reminiscent of sea foam or exquisite lace. The corrugated pointed leaves are almost entirely white. The thinnest edging with a scattering of small splashes reminds of greenery.