prayer plant


plural prayer plants
: a maranta (Maranta leuconeura of the family Marantaceae, the prayer plant or arrowroot family) that is native to Brazil and has several varieties (such as M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana and M. leuconeura var. erythroneura) that are widely grown as houseplants for their ornamentally patterned oval leaves that turn upward in evening
The red-veined prayer plant has a herringbone design of red veins over light to olive green leaf surfaces and silvery green along the center vein.Georgia Tasker
The leaves of the prayer plant bend up at nightfall, resembling hands clasped in prayer.Barbara Arnold
Prayer plants have striking leaves, with brightly colored veins (usually red or yellow).Lesley Chan

Examples of prayer plant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first plant Robert bought himself was a prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura). Anna Braz, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 The prayer plant moves its leaves up at night and lowers them during the day, which is believed to maximize light absorption by following the sun’s movement. Anna Braz, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Use vessels that are single color and/or have a muted texture for plants that have a lot of pattern, like prayer plants and alocasias. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 10 Feb. 2023 Some kid and pet-friendly house plants include: bamboo plants spider plants prayer plants Dust with a damp rag, vacuum and declutter regularly. Maryal Miller Carter, USA TODAY, 8 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prayer plant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1941, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prayer plant was in 1941

Dictionary Entries Near prayer plant

Cite this Entry

“Prayer plant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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