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Prayer Plant Varieties

By April Sanders ; Updated September 21, 2017

Prayer plants (maranta species) are so named for the fact that their leaves often fold up at night, like hands folded in prayer. These tropical foliage plants are popular with indoor home gardeners for their colorful, variegated leaves. Prayer plants are hardy and can live indoors for years with proper culture. There are dozens of varieties of maranta, according to Union County College, but M. erythrophylla and kerchoveana are by far the most popular. The rest are rather rare and hard to find.

"Tricolor" (M. leuconerura "Erythrophylla")

As the name implies, this variety of the prayer plant features striking, three-toned leaves. The foliage is deep green, with brilliant scarlet veins and patches of light cream or yellow variegation.

"Rabbit's Tracks" (M. leuconerura "Kerchoviana")

The "Rabbit's Tracks" variety of maranta is desirable for the unique pattern on the leaves. The broad, light-green leaves are marked down the center with patches of dark green reminiscent of a rabbit's footprints.

"Silver Feather" (M. leuconeura "Leuconerura")

This variety of maranta is rare, but showy, according to the University of Florida. This prayer plant features leaves that have a light gray center, with a dark green border. Radiating from the center are silvery veins.

"Bicolor" (M. leuconerua "Bicolor")

Maranta bicolor is another rare variety. This plant has dark green upper leaves, with the undersides being a rich purple color. The leaves are variegated with lighter green splotches.