Caladium Leaf Types

The main physical difference is where the stem meets the leaf. Fancy Caladiums have a stem towards the center, while strap Caladiums have a stem that meets at the edge.  Fancy-leaf caladiums generally have large heart-shaped leaves, sometimes growing to more than a foot long. Strap-leaf varieties typically have narrower arrow- or lance-shaped foliage. Plants are more compact and a bit more cold tolerant.
Let’s learn more about the differences between the two Caladium leaf types.
Caladium Leaf Types | Fancy and Strap Leaf
Fancy Leaf Caladium
The following are characteristics generally associated with Fancy Leaf Group when comparing it to the Lance (Strap) Leaf or Strap (Ribbon) leaf group. However, Caladiums are highly variable with exceptions occurring with almost all noted characteristics.

1) Petiole (leaf stem) attached within the blade of the leaf blade

2) Leaves tend to be larger and heart shaped

3) Tend to have a more upright habit

4) Tend to be less sun tolerant

5) Tend to develop fast

6) Tend to be taller

7) Tend to be less cold tolerant

8) Tend to last for shorter periods in the landscape 

9) Tend to have shorter crop times

10) From a tuber production standpoint, tend to have the highest yields of the various caladium groups thus are the least costly in the market

11) Tend to be more apically dominant. More varieties need de-eyeing to make nice pot habit

12)Leaf lobes partially fused near the petiole 

strap leaf caladium
Strap leaf caladium
The following are characteristics ascribed to the Caladium Strap Leaf when comparing it to the Fancy Leaf or Strap Leaf (Ribbon) group. Within each group characteristic, there are many notable exceptions.

1) Petiole (leaf stem) attached at or near the edge of the leaf blade.

2) Leaves tend to be more elongate arrow head shaped, and generally smaller

3) More spreading , less upright, habit

4) Tend to be more sun tolerant

5) Develop over longer periods 

6) Tend to be shorter

7) Tend to be more cold tolerant

8) Tend to last longer periods of time in the landscape

9) Tend to have longer crop times

10) From a tuber production standpoint, tend to have lower yields than Fancy Leaved types thus making them higher priced in the market

11) Tend to be less apically dominant

12) Lobes not fused or only slightly fused near the petiole and leaves tend to have intermediate to small lobes

Learn more about Caladium Care

Related Articles:

Caladium Thai Beauty | Caladium Pink Symphony

Caladium Strawberry Star – Caladium Bicolor Care

Caladium Plant Care Guide & Growing Tips

Caladium Plant Varieties Over 35+ Types (with pictures)

Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum) Care

10 Flowering Plants That Are Better Than a Bouquet 

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