Chlorophytum comosum 'Picturatum'
17th September 2005
Variegated Chlorophytums have a very long history in cultivation, and their proper
identities are somewhat confused. There are very few published descriptions that allow
the various varieties to be compared, and almost no comparative photographs.
Alfred B. Graf's magnificent doorstop "Exotica" which is still delightfully in print
, shows all the older varieties, but unfortunately the photographs are all quite small
and black and white, which makes comparison rather difficult. He also published the only
descriptions I have seen of all of the older cultivars side by side. Later authors have
added little. The most authoratative I have found so far have settled for copying Graf.
The significant part of which is "lax leaves 1-ft long, fresh green with yellow center bands
". The distinction between varieties is so slight, that this is less than optimal. (No criticism
intended, "Exotica" is a work of genius.)
17th September 2005
Authors from the Victorian era indicate that the difference between 'Picturatum' and 'Vittatum'
is slight, but that 'Picturatum' tends to be slightly smaller in growth, and yellower. I believe
that this clone, which sometimes appears in bedding displays in parks and large gardens, is
'Picturatum'. The photograph shows some leaves and flower stems compared with 'Vittatum',
the clone commonly distributed as a houseplant. 'Vittatum' on the left with narrower whiter
central bands and greenish tinted flower stems. 'Picturatum' on the right with shorter leaves
broader creamy central banding with yellower flower stems. A less defined characteristic
is that the colour in 'Picturatum' tends to be a broader solid band of colour. The white stripe
in 'Vittatum' can split into numerous thin white streaks through the central portion of the leaf.
It has to be noted that all of these characteristics are very variable depending on water and
light levels. They all get greener and taller in low light. The plants above had been growing
side by side for eighteen months. It remains possible that I am talking nonsense.
28th November 2008
14th November 2009