Scientific Name:
Caladium bicolor
oxalates raphides
Flower Color:
ornamental, houseplant

Geographical Distribution

Angel Wings distribution - United States

Angel Wings

Caladium bicolor

Caladium, Capotillo, Heart-of-Jesus
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Angel Wings (Caladium bicolor) are a common houseplant. It has showy, prominently veined, heart-shaped leaves, which range in color from white to pink to orange to red, depending on the species.

The leaves of this plant contain raphides, which are tiny, needle-shaped crystals made up of calcium oxalate. When the plant tissues containing the raphides are damaged, the raphides shoot out the idioblasts, which act like tiny needles which cut into the lining of the mouth, esophagus, and gut. Since raphides also contain toxic proteins, the lacerations made by the raphides allow these compounds to enter through the wounds, causing intense pain and harm to the surrounding tissues.