Maranta leuconeura, also known as prayer plant, is a species of flowering plant in the family Marantaceae, native to the Brazilian tropical forests. It is a variable, rhizomatous perennial, growing to 30 cm (12 in) tall and broad, with crowded clumps of evergreen, strikingly-marked oval leaves, each up to 12 cm (5 in) long. The specific epithet leuconeura means "white-veined", referring to the leaves. The leaves have a habit of lying flat during the day, and folding in an erect position at night as if in prayer for evening vespers, hence the common name "prayer plant". This behaviour is an example of a diurnal rhythm. Small, white flowers appear during the growing season, although this is rarely observed in houseplants and the flowers are not of particular value in comparison to the attractive foliage. The broad leaves of the plant are oval, two-color, greenish and fairly shiny. There are spots on both sides of the leaf medium, the color of which varies depending on the variety. The spots may be light green, green, brownish or dark gray. Medium color also varies by variety. The undersides of the leaves are variable, ranging from a light green, common in M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana, to a deep red, common in M. leuconeura var. erythroneura. Roots are shallow.