The ornamental value of caladium (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey) depends primarily on leaf character-istics, including leaf shape and main vein color. Caladium leaf shapes are closely associated with plant growth habit, stress tolerance, and tuber yield; leaf main vein colors are often used for cultivar identification. Thirty-eight crosses were made among 10 cultivars and two breeding lines; their progeny were analyzed to understand the inheritance of leaf shape and main vein color and to determine if there is a genetic linkage between these two traits. Results showed that a single locus with three alleles determined the main vein color in caladium. The locus was designated as V, with alleles V r , V w , and V g for red, white, and green main veins, respectively. The white vein allele was dominant over the green vein allele, but it was recessive to the red vein allele, which was dominant over both white and green vein alleles; thus the dominance order of the alleles is V r > V w > V g . Segregation data indicated that four major red-veined cultivars were heterozygous with the genotype V r V g , and that one white-veined cultivar was homozygous and one other white-veined cultivar and one breeding line were heterozygous. The observed segregation data confirmed that the three leaf shapes in caladium were controlled by two co-dominant alleles at one locus, designated as F and f, for fancy and strap leaves, respectively. The skewedness of leaf shape segregation in some of the crosses implied the existence of other factors that might contribute to the formation of leaf shape. Contingency chi-square tests for independence revealed that caladium leaf shape and main vein color were inherited independently. The chi-square tests for goodness-of-fit indicated that the five observed segregation patterns for leaf shape and main vein color fit well to the expected ratio assuming that two co-dominant and three dominant/recessive alleles control leaf shape and main vein color and they are inherited independently. Caladiums are ornamental aroids grown for their long-last-ing bright colorful foliage. They are often forced from tubers as container and hanging basket plants, or grown in garden beds as accent and border plants. Leaves of many modern caladium cultivars can rival many flowers in color and brightness (Hay-ward, 1950). Caladiums originated in the tropical or subtropical region of Central America and South America. Cytogenetically, they are diploids with 2n = 30 chromosomes (in Darlington and Wylie, 1955). Generally, caladiums are asexually propagated by division of tubers. Florida is the leading producer and supplier of caladium tubers, providing more than 95% of the worldwide tuber demands (Bell et al., 1998). Early breeding efforts in caladium dated back to late 1800s (Hayward, 1950); and ≈100 cultivars are commercially propagated presently (Bell et al., 1998). The ornamental value of caladiums in containers or in the land-scape depends, to a great extent, on leaf characteristics, including shape, color, color pattern, and venation pattern. Compared to other ornamental aroids [e.g., Aglaonema Schott, Alocasia (Schott) G. Don, Dieffenbachia Schott, Philodendron Schott, Syngonium Schott, etc.], caladiums exhibit a remarkable level of diversity in these leaf characters (Henny, 1988, 2000; Wilfret, 1993). For example, the width and/or length of mature leaves can vary from several centimeters to over 20 cm among cultivars. Commercial caladium cultivars also possess very diverse leaf shapes. Broadly, caladium leaves are classified into three shapes: fancy, lance, and strap (Fig. 1). Fancy-leaved caladiums have heart-shaped (triangular-or round-ovate) leaves, with three main veins on each leaf arranged in the form of an inverted letter Y, a peltate petiole attachment, and the two basal lobes are joined for more than one-fifth of their length and separated by a short narrow sinus. Fig. 1. Typical leaf shapes and main vein colors expressed in caladium progeny (seedlings ≈3 months old). Top row from left to right: fancy leaves (heart-shaped with petioles attached to the back) with white, red, and green main veins; bottom row from left to right: lance leaves with white, red, and green main veins. Rightmost column: strap leaf with red main vein.