Ctenanthe spp. (MARANTACEAE) Ctenanthe

Weeds to Whack

Several clumps of Ctenanthe (undetermined species) are well established, presumably originating from dumped garden waste, along Enoggera Creek. Weed risk medium, because although it is isolated, it forms monocultures. Also along the creek several clumps of what might be Ctenanthe oppenheimiana or the cultivar known as Ctenanthe setosa have been found, the largest being a flowering clump about 5 x 5 m in size and very dense, spotted near the creek crossing behind The Gap State High School (opposite Riaweena). These perennials (related to the Calathea and Maranta) are from tropical Brazil. Ctenanthe from the Greek kteis means comb and anthos flower. Pronunciation: tee-NANTH-ee

Photo: Robert Whyte


C. kummeriana grows 60 cm high and has green leaves veined with white on top and purple underneath. C. lubbersiana grows 45 cm tall and its leaves are dark green and yellow above and pale green beneath. C. oppenheimiana grows up to 1 m high. Its leathery, lance-shaped leaves are green mottled with cream. It produces small, 3-petaled, white flowers in spikes at odd intervals. Its variety tricolor has leaves variegated purple-red and yellow. C. setosa will grow up to 1 m high and it has green leaves.
Photo: Robert Whyte