callisia species

9 Most Beautiful Types of Callisia You Can Grow

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Callisia is a lovely genus of plants in the spiderwort family. Although the name sounds simple enough, there are many different types of collisions you can grow.

Some are designed for indoor growing, preferring bright, indirect light and average humidity levels. Others are best grown outdoors, since they can be toxic to pets when touched.

So which type of this beautiful plant is right for you? 

There are many different types, but the most beautiful ones are those with white or pink flowers. They’ll contrast beautifully with the plant’s green foliage and make a stunning addition to your home.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the most beautiful types of callisia you can grow! 

If you’re interested in growing callisia, you’ll find that there are a few primary callisia species to choose from, some of which have individual and unique cultivars and varieties within, too.

Here are some of your best options.

1. C. cordifolia

A native plant of Florida, this type of callisia has three-petaled white flowers. 

2. C. congesta

Also known as Dragon’s Tail, this type of callisia has ruffled, spiralized leaves. It performs best in bright sunlight. When grown in the right lighting conditions, this plant has a delicate and attractive pink hue. 

3. C. fragrans

This is truly a plant of many names, as it can be referred to as the basket plant, false bromeliad, the octopus plant, the inch plant, and much more.

Callisia fragrans only grows to a maximum of a foot tall, making it a good candidate for indoor growing. In bright light, the leaves lay down flat and look much like the clusters of a bromeliad. However, in partial sun, it looks more like a dracaena plant.

This imitator has creeping stems that will form their own roots wherever they make contact with the ground. It has clusters of white flowers that are absolutely beautiful to behold. 

There are two primary types of C. fragrans – the first of which is called, quite simply, just C. fragrans. This plant has leaves that can be purple if they’re exposed to lots of light, but most of the time, they’re just a plain green.

The second type is called C. fragrans ‘Melnikoff.’ This is a variegated variety of the plant that has leaves edged with a paler, lighter shade of green. It occasionally develops striping as well. The stripes can also become purple in bright light, but this is less common. In most cases, they remain some green color. 

Of all the callisia varieties, C. fragrans is perhaps one of the best if you plan on growing it in higher humidity conditions. It can even be grown in a bathroom or kitchen, for example! 

4. C. gentlei

C. gentle is also referred to as the striped inch plant. It has leaves that are as old green in color and has dense white flowers, too. 

5. C. graminea

Also known as the grassleaf roseling, this plant species is native to the southeastern United States. It is one of the northernmost types of callisia you’ll find in the wild, often found growing naturally on sandy soil in thickets, distributed sites, and pine barrens.

It is a trailing perennial that grows to nearly a foot long, with pink to rose-colored flowers. 

6. C. navicularis

Sometimes referred to as the chain plant, this specimen has overlapping and densely clustered leaves. They are often shaped like lances. It has bronze-hued foliage with a purple shade beneath along with bright lilac-colored flowers. 

7. C. ornata

C. ornata, or the Florida scrub roseling, is a delicate and beautiful plant that is often considered a wildflower. It is found naturally in Florida, occurring in scrub and sandhill habitats (hence the name!)

You can also cultivate it at home or in your home garden. It’s a close relative of Tradescantia and Commelina. It’s an ephemeral plant with flowers that open in the morning and close in the early afternoon. These flowers are typically pink to pinkish-white in color with scalloped margins.

8. C. repens 

Also known as the creeping inch plant, this type of callisia is native to Central and South America. Of all the varieties out there, Callisia repens has the most breathtaking flowers. The green leaves tend to be sprinkled with purple and the plant produces delicate white flowers. 

There are a few primary cultivars of Callisia repens you can grow, including the following.

‘Pink Lady’

Sometimes called the pink turtle vine, this plant is a low-growing succulent that only reaches a maximum of six inches tall. It has small, waxy leaves reminiscent of your favorite type of succulent. These leaves can have varying shades of cream, pink, white, cream, burgundy, and green, but the undersides are always burgundy. 


As you might expect from the name alone, ‘Gold’ produces lovely golden-green leaves that are bronze to red underneath. In addition, the flowers are on the yellow side, too. It prefers bright light and somewhat humid conditions, a contradiction to the many other kinds of callisia that are out there. 


This plant is unique in that it is also closely related to plants in the Tradescantia family. Sometimes referred to as Bolivian Jew, it has compact foliage with cream, pink, or green-colored streaks. 


‘Bianca’ is another popular variety of callisia. It has small, glossy leaves that are usually oval in shape. Over time, these become pink. The plant looks lovely in hanging baskets as it has a tendency to drape its foliage over the sides. Its green and pink striped foliage isn’t anything to ignore, either! 

‘Pink Panther’ 

A low-growing succulent, this perennial callisia has delicate leaves that are striped in white and green – but with a heavy pink hue that makes them appear fully pink in color.

It only grows to around five inches tall but has a four foot spread.

Green Turtle Vine

Last but not least is the green turtle vine. Often referred to just as C. repens, this kind of plant has leaves with purple undersides and gray-green foliage. It even has matching pink stems! 

9. C. rosea (Piedmont roseling)

This is another variety that goes by many different names, including the Piedmont roseling or Morning Grace. It is a gorgeous kind of callisia to grow indoors, but it can also be grown outside. 

Outdoors, its bright purple-pink flowers (each of which has three petals) will attract pollinators of all kinds, including hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and more!

Growing Callisia Plants: Is it Right for You?

Callisia plants are an attractive, versatile option for gardeners in many different climates. They come in a variety of colors and shapes to suit any size garden or living space. 

Growing callisia plants might be right for you if you’ve never grown them before -yet want a houseplant that is easier to care for than other kinds of plants, like roses or succulents.

So what are you waiting for? Choose one of these elegant callisia varieties and get started today!

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