The Marantaceaefamily consists of 29 genera with627 species of flowering plantsdistributed in the tropical regions of the world. The largest concentration of members of the family is in America, Africa (with seven genera spread there),and in Asia (six genera).
The Marantaceaeplants are distinguished by their significantly beautifulleaves of bright green color or by the distinctly visible spots on a background that varies from white to almost black. The laminas have pinnate veins, some of which in colored. The leaves are most often simple with oblong elliptical shape, and with a short or longer stalk.The flowers are in an inflorescence most often a panicle surrounded by a petal underneath or around the raceme that resembles a bract. The flowers are small in size, usually bisexual. The fruit is fleshy or a capsule. The underground organs of the plants are rhizomes (containing starch) or bulbs.
It is characteristic for some members of the Marantaceaefamily to react to light – at night, the leaves rise, close and turn acquiring the form of a closed rosette,and in the light they turn and take a horizontal position – the rosette opens. That is the reason these flowers are often called ‘praying flowers’.