Fittonia albivenis

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Fittonia albivenis
File:Colpfl25.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Fittonia
Species: F. albivenis
Binomial name
Fittonia albivenis
Coem.[1]

Fittonia albivenis is a species of flowering plant in the family Acanthaceae, native to the rainforests of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and northern Brazil. It is notable for its dark green foliage with strongly contrasting white or red veins. It is commonly called nerve plant or mosaic plant. In temperate regions where the temperature falls below 10 °C (50 °F) it must be grown as a houseplant.[2]

Growth

Fittonia albivenis is a creeping evergreen perennial growing to 15 cm (6 in) high, with lush green leaves with accented veins of white to deep pink and a short fuzz covering its stems. Small buds may appear after time where the stem splits into leaves. Flowers are small with a white to off-white color. This plant is best kept in a moist area with mild sunlight and temperatures above 55 °F (13 °C). It must be watered regularly. Without water for a few days, it is known to "faint" but is easily revived with a quick watering and resumes its healthiness. Fittonia albivenis is known to be hard to grow, so it is best bought at a nursery then cared for. Its spreading habit makes it ideal as groundcover.

Uses

The species is used as an ornamental plant.[1] Numerous cultivars have been selected, of which the Argyroneura Group has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3] It ". . .is employed by the Kofan and Siona-Secoya tribes of the Ecuadorian Amazon as a headache treatment."[4] The leaves are ". . . used by the Machiguenga as a hallucinogenic admixture in kamarampi prior to their introduction to Psychotria viridis." [5] They are said to "produce visions of eyeballs."[4]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Fittonia albivenis information from NPGS/GRIN". www.ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  2. RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  3. "RHS Plant Selector - Fittonia albivenis Argyroneura Group". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Plants". manu.montana.com. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  5. "Headace treatments by native peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon by Ethan B. Russo, M.D.". Universidad del museo social Argentino. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 

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