So you want really bright, gaudy leaves? Caladiums are among several related plants called elephant ears due to the large, heart-shaped leaves. Nurseries always used to sell caladiums as tubers in springtime to be planted in shade for summer color. Over time, sales of anything in bulb form have declined to the point that many have stopped carrying them that way. Now you can find them growing in 4-inch pots in early summer.
Like coleus, these give a lot of colorful bang for the buck. The flowers, which are inconsequential, just look like miniature calla lilies (caladiums and callas are in the same plant family). And like coleus, they can be grown as houseplants in a bright window. But their real impact is outdoors, and the colorful leaves show off even in fairly heavy shade.
Preparations to honor fallen Officer Kaliloa are evidenced in Puna. Michael Brant, officer Kaliloa’s friend and supporter says the goal is to line the highway with floral tributes as Kaliloa’s funeral procession passes by on Saturdey afternoon. Floral contributions have come from many sources, bothlocal and mainland. Colorful caladium leaves from Happiness Farms Caladium fields in Florida, golden yellow “Doris Duke” pagoda flowers from Oahu’s Shangri La estate, dwarf red heliconian from Pahoa Feed, and dark blue hydrangeas from Victor at Sacred Heart Church, along with anthuriums and tropical rhododendrons from Mt. View Anthuriiums and Olaa Tropical Nursery grace the tributes, with canna flowers from Hana of Kalapana’s canna fields.
Although many local flowers have been damaged by the volcanic eruption and acid rain, you can almost hear the surviving flowers say “Take me, Take me” according to Glagton Bodger, Ph.D. , pomologist emeritus of Nani Mau Botanical Garden. Bodger says we line the procession route witth flowers to show respect and mourning. Kaliloa glorified The Father while here on earth, labored for a kikngdom of love, and entered eternal life. We mourn because we are human, we rejoice because we are Christian, and thank The Father for the gift of Kaliloa’s life and we celebrate the power of Jesus’ resurrection.