Dumb Cane

Dieffenbachia spp.

Leopard Lily, Mother-In-Law's Tongue

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DieffenbachiaDSC 2961 by CostaPPPR (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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DieffenbachiaDSC 2961 by CostaPPPR (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Dieffenbachia is a genus containing about 30 species of evergreen perennial from the Araceae family. Many cultivars are derived from D. seguine (which includes D. maculata). These are grown as a houseplant for their attractive, broad leaves, as well as their tolerance to shade. When lower leaves are shed, a scar is often left on the cane-like stems. The flowerhead consists of a creamy-white spathe, borne intermittently throughout the year. The genus was named by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, director of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna, to honour his head gardener Joseph Dieffenbach (1796–1863). The common name Dumb Cane refers to the plant's poisoning effect which, if consumed, causes a temporary inability to speak. All parts are poisonous by ingestion, and sap may cause skin irritation.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Layering

Air

Cuttings

Root tip cuttings in spring or summer.

Special features

Indoor plant

Attractive leaves

Pot plant

Special features

Origin

America and West Indies

Natural climate

Tropical and subtropical

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Alkaline, Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Personality

Family

Araceae

Flower colour

Cream, White, Green

Scent

None

Related Problems

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