Cryptanthus hivittalus rosea-pictus (earth stars, chameleon plant) origin: Brazil.
A small plant ideal for mixed arrangements in bowls or troughs, as it provides a contrast in height and form. The leaves, 3 to 6 in. long, are striped longitudinally in pale and mid-green, have crinkled edges and form a flat, star-shaped rosette. When moved to a light position, the leaves become richly suffused with pale pink and deep maroon. This process can be reversed by placing the plant in a dark or shady position. The plant will survive for weeks without water, and will tolerate almost any condition. Ideally, keep the soil just moist in summer and on the dry side in winter. Stock is easily increased by removing and potting up the side shoots that appear after flowering. When a side shoot measures about 1-1/2 in. in diameter, remove it by tugging the tip of its lowest leaf.
Cryptanthus bromelioides tricolor (dracaena bromeliad) origin: Brazil.
Perhaps the most popular of all cryptanthus for its grace and colouring. A star-shaped rosette is formed by the graceful, arching leaves, which are l in. wide and 6 to 10 in. long. Coloured cream with narrow green longitudinal stripes, they become richly suffused with bright pink at the edges and base in good light in spring and summer. Should the leaves turn brown at the edges, remove the affected area carefully with scissors. The plant prefers warmth, an ideal temperature being 60° F. (16° C), but it will tolerate small variations in temperature and will survive for long periods without water. Keep the soil moist and the plant in a light position.