The nerve plant (Fittonia albivenis) is an amazing houseplant that is grown for its vividly marked leaves. The contrast created by the brightly colored leaf venation is what really makes these miniature plants stand out. Although their specific name means ‘white veins’, there are several varieties available in cultivation with a range of different colors.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to a selection of the more popular and accessible Fittonia types that you can grow. Don’t forget to check our guide to learn how to care for nerve plants.
There are a great number of different nerve plant varieties available today. These plants are unofficially classified into two groups, the Argyroneura, and the Verschaffeltii groups. The taxonomy may change in the future, but these plants are currently all classified as members of Fittonia albivenis.
The Argyroneura Group
The nerve plants in this group have light-colored leaf venation in shades of white, silver, or yellow. They are commonly known as silver fittonias or fittonia argyroneura (1). You are most likely to come across the following popular Argyroneura cultivars.
‘Daisy’ is a popular nerve plant variety that is distinguishable by its leaf size and coloration. The large leaves are muted green in color with delicate yellowish-white veins and larger white patterns along the margin.
This is one of the more colorful types of nerve plants where the venation color is dominant. Unlike most varieties that are greener in color, its leaves are pink with a dark green margin and lighter pink or white vein network.
The leathery, ovate, and deep-green leaves of this variety are laced with white to greenish-white netted patterns. The soft stems are light green in color which creates an attractive contrast.
This popular nerve plant variety has a slightly confusing name. It is, in fact, a smaller variety that has somewhat elongated dark green leaves with criss-crossing white venations.
The Verschaffeltii Group
Plants from the Verschaffeltii group are also known as red mosaic plants (2). They can be distinguished by their generally darker leaf colors, with pink to red and even purple veins.
The green leaves of this variety are relatively large and curled on the edges. The pinkish-red veins are prominent in the midrib and laterally.
‘Mini Red Vein’
This is a relatively small variety that is notable for both its size and coloration. The small leaves of this fittonia are dark green and vibrantly netted with dark red and pink veins.
‘Pink star’ is popular both for its color and the attractive wavy texture of its foliage. The curled leaf margins of this nerve plant are deep green and the blade is of the same color, only speckled and netted with light pink.
‘Juanita’ looks like a normal dark green nerve plant that has been lightly spray-painted in pink on the edges. This variety is also larger than many others.
The glossy elongated green leaves are heavily covered in pink nerves. This is a compact variety with particularly intense color.
Instead of the usual white and pink venations, the nerves of this fittonia are lavender in color against the dark green leaves. The darker venation and larger-than-average leaf size of this variety make for a very attractive but understated specimen.
Fittonias have a lot going for them. These tropical evergreens are anything but dull, and the range of available varieties makes them even more desirable. A small collection of these dainty plants would certainly help to green up any home environment.
For more houseplants to grow, check our indoor plant list.
- Missouri Botanical Garden. Fittonia Albivenis (Argyroneura Group)
- Missouri Botanical Garden. Fittonia Albivenis (Verschaffeltii Group)
*image by Wirestock/depositphotos