1 entry found.
Common Name: Earth-Star, Starfish Plant
Botanical Name: Cryptanthus spp. (krip-TAN-thus)
Decorative Life: Years.
Post Harvest Care:
  • In addition to watering like any other plant, keep water in the "cups" that are formed where the leaves attach to the stem.
  • Low interior light levels can result in pink leaf colors being lost in favor of green.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Bromeliaceae (bromeliad or pineapple) family.
  • Native to Brazil.
  • Related species include pineapple, Christmas cactus, Spanish moss.
  • Leaves stiff, spiny, mostly linear in a basal rosette, often pink in color.
  • Flowers borne mostly in spike-type inflorescences.
  • Classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: White, but often not present.
Storage Specifics: Chill sensitive, store above 55 degrees F.
  • Most bromeliads only flower once under home/office conditions. However, if new off-shoots are produced, it is possible to induce them to flower by treating the plant with ethylene gas. To treat a plant, place one or two ready to eat apples next to the plant and then seal the plant and apples in a plastic bag. Keep the bag sealed for two or three days at room temperature. Remove the bag and apples. It may take many weeks before you will know if the treatment was successful. Finally, since this bromeliad species does not flower much too begin with, it may be even more of a challenge to induce flowering.
  • Cryptanthus: Greek for hidden flower in reference to the flowers being nested in the foliage.
  • The most common member of this family is the pineapple, other species are grown for fiber but most are grown for ornamental value.
  • Most cultivars can survive under a wide range of light conditions. However, they will generally grow well in light levels bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort.
Recent Findings: Wolverton and Wolverton (1992) showed that this is one of many foliage and flowering plant species that can remove air pollutants such as formaldehyde and/or benzene often found in cigarette smoke from interior environments.