Nov 07 2011

Saved By Its Beauty

Published by at 7:20 am under Beyond Bounds,Plants

As the sunlight shines through this leaf, each vein is illuminated.

Alocasia sanderiana is beautiful up close and from afar.

Its leaves are arrow-shaped, dark green, and very shiny with prominent pale green veins.  The leaf edges are so amazingly wavy that in English it's called the kris plant, named for the kalis (or kris) daggers of its homeland.

Here's what the whole leaf looks like:

Alocasia sanderiana is native to the Philippines but is critically endangered in the wild.  It grows in only two locations, both legally protected, but the protection is not enforced.  Its existence is threatened by logging and by being collected as a house plant.

Ironically, if the kris plant disappears from the wild, its beauty will save it from extinction because it's been propagated "in captivity" for many, many years.

(close-up of an Alocasia leaf by Joan Guerin; whole-leaf photo from Wikimedia Commons)

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