Gardening in Vein

Gardening in Vein

Most people look at plant foliage and admire the wonderful variegation of the leaves or the shapes, but have you ever stopped to admire the multibranched vein patterns? If not take a look sometime when you are out in the garden or hiking in the woods. The veins form very unique patterns that whether follow the variegation or simply highlight the colors.

Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is a perfect example. The leaves range from a silver-white color to a dark glossy purple but retain the green leaf pattern that branches out from the center vein (midrib).

Here’s how the Persian Shield’s leaf appears when we look close. It’s an annual here in Tennessee but if you like interesting foliage it is worth growing!

Of course I can’t think of plants with veins without thinking of heucheras. The foliage of this Heuchera ‘Silver Scrolls’ displays an outstanding example of a veining pattern. The silvery leaves help to highlight the darker colored veins.

And what about Caladiums? Sometimes the variegation follows the vein patterns as in this green and white caladium…

but sometimes it doesn’t, or at least not completely. This pink and red mottled caladium has pink splotches all around that don’t follow the veins even though the red mostly follows the veins. I like how the veins radiate outward from the central stem of the plant.

The vein pattern on this Euonymous (Emerald Gaiety) isn’t particularly showy but is still interesting to admire.

“Inside every turning leaf is a pattern of an older tree.” ~ Sting

The redbuds have done particularly well this year thanks to the rain and moderate temperatures. These newer leaves are excellent for displaying the pattern of the veins.

Here are just a few examples of interesting vein patterns in leaves. What plant demonstrates really interesting vein patterns in your garden?


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. great shots. love the different patterns on foliage. they are almost like puzzles or labyrinths for our eyes to follow.

  2. Dave, I have the redbuds, and the veining is indeed lovely. I think what best shows veining is my Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost.' I love the silvery overlay on the leaves.

  3. I love the Persian Shield but for some reason it dies about the same time each year. I had it planted with the Lantana that has lavender blooms. I think one compliments the other.
    Your leaves look so healthy.

  4. Very interesting post. I never really thought about it until today and noticed the viens in my Colocasia 'Illustris'.


  5. Great title and lovely veins indeed!

  6. P.S. I thought you'd talk of rock veins:)

  7. Rob,

    It's one of my favorites this year!


    Labyrinth is a great description!


    I've been admiring that Brunnera for a while but have no where to put it. Great leaf patterns!


    That sounds like a cool pairing! How much sun did they get? That could be a factor.


    It's just another nice feature of the plants we all have that we can appreciate!


    Rock veins! After this week I can see where you got that from! lol

  8. Dave, my combination Persian Shield & Lantana that I put into a pot was sitting tucked back between the end of the shrub & a platform of sorts that had pots on it too. So this made for a good spot for both plants. Plenty of light, not direct sun. I may have let it get a tad too dry. I will for sure next yr. pay closer attention to it.

  9. Always nice to look a bit closer and see things that generally go unnoticed.

  10. I am also growing Persian Shield, any tips for cuttings?

  11. Machelle,

    As for tips for cuttings try cutting from the tip! Stem tip cuttings probably work best. I just took some last night for a first go at it. I put them in water temporarily until I can treat them with rooting hormone and put them in a potting medium.

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