Codiaeum (Codiaeum) is a genus of evergreen perennial tropical trees, shrubs and herbs of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Differs in bright color of leaves thanks to which it is appreciated as decorative and deciduous culture.
- Family: Euphorbiaceae.
- Origin: Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
- Rhizome: The roots are quite powerful, fibrous.
- Stem: straight, branching.
- Leaves: alternate, large, leathery.
- Fruit: box.
- Reproductive ability: propagated by cuttings, very rarely by seeds.
- Illumination: photophilous, but does not tolerate direct sun.
- Watering: plentiful.
- Content temperature: heat-loving houseplant.
- Duration of flowering: rarely blooms in rooms, in the summer.
Description of the plant codiaum and photo
Codiaums are plants with erect woody stems and large smooth leathery leaves on short, 4-7 cm long cuttings. Under natural conditions, some species reach a height of 3-4 m, when grown indoors they do not exceed 1 m. The natural habitat is East India, Polynesia and Malesia, Australia. The leaves have an interesting feature: at a young age they are painted green or light green, then over time they become yellow, pink, red or burgundy, which makes the crown bright and attractive, green at the top, red or burgundy below. As you can see in the photo of the codiaum, its multi-colored leaf plates are also decorated with veins and strokes that contrast with the main color, which give the plant even more picturesque.
The flowers of the codiaum, unlike the leaves, do not represent decorative value. They are inconspicuous, small, collected in loose racemose axillary inflorescences from 20 to 30 cm long. The culture is dioecious, therefore it forms either male or female flowers. Males are white, with long and thin pedicels, have five petals and about 30 stamens, thanks to which they look like fluffy balls, females are even less decorative, whitish-yellow, with thick short pedicels and leathery sepals fused with petals.
In nature, the flowering of the codiaum occurs at the beginning of spring, at home it happens quite rarely and only with careful care, it usually occurs in the summer, while it greatly depletes the culture, which is why experienced flower growers recommend that the emerging buds be removed immediately. On indoor flowers of the codiaum, seeds are usually not tied.
Like all spurges, the plant contains a poisonous milky sap, which is abundantly released when the stems or leaves are damaged. Drying, it helps to protect the wound surface from the effects of the external environment, thereby accelerating the healing process. When it comes into contact with the skin of a person or animal, the juice causes irritation and redness, and when used internally, it can lead to inflammation of the gastric mucosa and vomiting. These unpleasant properties of codiaum flowers must be remembered when growing them in rooms. All work with them is best done with gloves, after which it is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly. Particular care must be taken if there are small children or pets in the house, plants should be inaccessible to them.
Flowering indoor flowers codiaum
At home, in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Malaysia and Australia, the plant has been valued as an ornamental leafy crop since its appearance in Europe, which dates back to 1860.
The exotic flower codiaum immediately attracted attention, for decorative purposes they began to grow one of its species, motley codiaum (C. variegatum) . It has a remarkable property, depending on external conditions, easily modifying not only the color of the sheet plates, but also their shape.
In nature, the distribution area of the culture is quite wide, the climate in different places of growth is somewhat different, which led to the emergence of various intraspecific variations and new ecotypes with linear, oval, ovate, lobed leaves, painted in green, yellow, red, orange tones, decorated with multi-colored veins. and strokes.
Thanks to such plasticity of the codiaum, a large number of varieties were created in a short time, the color and appearance of the leaf plates of which are striking in their diversity. In Europe, this inhabitant of the rainforest can only be grown in protected ground, in warm greenhouses or closed heated rooms. As indoor flowers, codiaums are quite whimsical, but they are so beautiful that they are always popular.
With proper care, the plant is very durable, can serve as an interior decoration for up to 10-15 years, and according to the teachings of Feng Shui, it also cleanses the house of negative energy, harmonizes the space around it, contributing to cleanliness and order.
Below are a few photos of codiaum flowers used in various compositions to decorate interiors and winter gardens.