Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not promote, support
or recommend plants featured in "Plant of the Week." Please consult your local Extension
office for plants suitable for your region.
I write these columns because I want to learn more about the plants that surround
me. One plant that I've had for years and never knew much about is one I call "Tricolor,"
a shorthand name used by greenhouse growers for this tough member of the prayer plant
The plant in question is a variegated selection of a tropical plant from Brazil called
Stromanthe sanguinea. The correct cultivar name for this colorful cream, pink, green and maroon leafed
plant is 'Triostar' but most American sources offer it as "Tricolor." The variegation
pattern varies from leaf to leaf with some almost completely devoid of chlorophyll;
some are half variegated while others have variegation patterns of various widths
down the leaf. The backside of the leaf is a rich maroon with variegated portions
a bright pink.
Tricolor is a frost-tender herbaceous perennial with short, creeping stems that can
reach 5 feet tall in a tropical climate but usually is between 18 to 30 inches tall
in containers or when used in the summertime garden. Most of the foliage arises from
the crown of the plant with foot-long leaves produced at the ends of long petioles.
Between the leaf blade and the petiole is a swollen BB-sized lump called the pulvinus.
Using a pair of specialized pigments (phytochrome and cryptochrome) that absorb only
part of the light spectrum, the pulvinus helps orient the leaf according to the time
of the day. At night, the leaf moves to an east-facing position to catch more of the
early morning sun. As the day gets hotter, the pulvinus moves the leaf to an upright
position so that the tip end of the leaf is exposed to the sun and the flat part of
the leaf blade is protected.
Members of the prayer plant (maranta) family all have a strong family resemblance,
but three species - the Calathea, the Ctenanthe and the Stromanthe - seem to cause much confusion. All are widely scattered throughout the jungles of
South America, and the differences between the species is most easily seen when plants
are flowering, something that doesn't occur with great regularity in the greenhouse.
To add to the confusion¸ Ctenanthe oppenheimiana has a variegated clone called "Tricolor." Both "Tricolors" are very similar in appearance
but C. oppenheimiana has thinner, wirier petioles than S. sanguinea.
The technical differences between various members of the maranta family may seem like
a moot point to the average gardener, but the differences are important because there
are big differences in the cultural requirements of the plants. Over the years, I've
tried most of the common species of fancy leafed Calathea, but all have failed because I overwinter my tropicals in a cold greenhouse that
routinely dips to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They suffer whenever temperatures fall below
But not so with Ctenanthe burle-marxii and Stromanthe sanguinea 'Tricolor,' the two showy calathea-like plants I grow. Both tolerate the cold greenhouse
temperatures without complaint and then lavish in the summertime heat and humidity
of my garden. Gardeners from California to Florida report both to be cold tolerant,
surviving temperatures out of doors as low as 25.
Tricolor is recommended for shady sites, but it will tolerate full sun if planted
where it gets plenty of water. I use mine as an accent plant in the shade garden;
in subtropical regions where it can be grown out of doors it's used as a tall groundcover.
If used as a houseplant, grow it in at least an 8-inch pot and give it bright light
out of direct sun. It has good drought tolerance but if it gets too dry marginal leaf
burn can occur. Propagation is by springtime division before new growth starts.
By: Gerald Klingaman, retired Extension Horticulturist - Ornamentals Extension News - September 26, 2008
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not maintain lists
of retail outlets where these plants can be purchased. Please check your local nursery
or other retail outlets to ask about the availability of these plants for your growing