Maranta is the type-genus of Marantaceae, and is named in honor of Bartolomeo Maranta, an Italian physician and botanist of the 16th century who organized his knowledge of botanical pharmacology by nomenclature, species identification and medicinal properties.
‘Prayer plant’ is a colloquial term that refers to members of genus Maranta, to which genus Calathea is closely related. In reality, both are considered to be ‘prayer plants.’ The name comes from the tendency of plants in this family to droop, or ‘pray’ at night. Some of the most popular prayer-plants in cultivation are Maranta leuconeura or M. leuconeura‘Tricolor.’ Many species of Maranta produce rosmarinic acid, one of the active components of rosemary that give it the characteristic rosemary scent.
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