• Johan Van HuylenbroeckEmail author
  • Evelien Calsyn
  • Andy Van den Broeck
  • René Denis
  • Emmy Dhooghe
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 11)


Marantaceae, specifically Calathea, Ctenanthe, Maranta, and Stromanthe, are commonly used as landscape plants in tropical and subtropical climates or as indoor potted plants in temperate zones. With the exception of Calathea crocata, most of them are cultured for their attractive foliage. In the 1970s and 1980s, species were introduced directly from the wild. Mass propagation via tissue culture resulted in somaclonal variants which were subsequently released as new cultivars. At the beginning of this century, intensive breeding started with the main focus on the development of flowering plants. Interspecific hybridization combined with embryo rescue resulted in a completely new line of flowering Calathea, with attractive foliage and long-lasting inflorescences. Compact growth, short production cycle, and new flower colors are the current breeding targets. Differences in chromosome numbers and genome sizes between genera and species hamper breeding. To enable new interspecific or intergeneric cross combinations current research concentrates on polyploidization, alternative pollination techniques, and ovary culture.


Calathea Marantaceae Interspecific hybridization Breeding Chromosome numbers Genome size 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Van Huylenbroeck
    • 1
    Email author
  • Evelien Calsyn
    • 1
  • Andy Van den Broeck
    • 2
  • René Denis
    • 2
  • Emmy Dhooghe
    • 1
  1. 1.Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Plant Sciences Unit, Applied Genetics and BreedingMelleBelgium
  2. 2.Denis-Plants bvbaBeervelde-LochristiBelgium

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