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?

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