Monday, January 5, 2009

Plant find: Anthurium

I have admired the genus Anthurium for quite a while.  I remember the first one I saw and thought that it must be a peace lily with a magenta bloom.  Little did I know, this wasn't one of those painted plants like the glittery blue or purple Poinsettias you sometimes see around Christmas.  It didn't take long before I started seeing Anthuriums everywhere.  I've found most plants to be that way.

There seems to always be several of these plants at Lowe's, but they are usually priced near $10 and because of their persistent availability, I have kept them on my "to-purchase-one-day" list, rather than my "must-buy-today" list.  I think I officially became an Aroid collector in October, when my collection grew to more than 40 plants.  With Anthuriums being one of the Aroid genera, it would only be a matter of time before I would own one... or two... or three...

Recently I made a return at Lowe's and received a giftcard with about $12 credit.  I promptly went to see what plants would be coming home with me.  Lowe's had the usual 2" houseplants from Angel Brand (which I really enjoy).  They also had some great orchids in bloom, but I haven't had much luck with orchids lately.  And, as usual, they had 4 or 5 Anthuriums in bloom (for about $8).  I took a look at them and decided - today is the day!

My new Anthurium
My Anthurium is marked as Anthurium amnicola. [Update: The label was incorrect, as this is not the species A. amnicola.] It has magenta colored inflorescences and shiny dark green leaves.

I have been reading Deni Brown's book "Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family," in which there was a good overview of the variation of vein patterns (venation) of Aroid leaves.  At one point, it was mentioned that in some particular genera, the veins do not reach from the primary vein (midrib) to the edge of the leaf.  Instead, there is a separate vein that runs parallel to the leaf edge that "catches" all of the veins from the midrib.  My new Anthurium demonstrates this unique venation. [Here is a really good guide for leaf characteristics.  And more information here.]

Anthurium venation
"Is this rare?" you ask.

No, I don't think so.  In fact, there are some very common plants and trees that have this "collection" vein.

"Does it have a purpose?"

I don't know.  Probably.  I can't imagine that it wouldn't have a purpose.

"Well, why did you mention it?"

I don't know.  But it is an interesting subtlety of this plant that I observed and thought I would pass it along.

Now that I have one species of Anthurium, I have to get more.  It's the official law of collectors.  One is not enough.  I already have my eyes set on another species, which I saw at the Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens.  [Check out all of these color varieties.]

Pale purple Anthurium at the OKC Myriad Gardens


  1. Beautiful plants, I'm assuming they must be tender tropicals or houseplants?

  2. Racquel-
    Yes, that's right. Anthuriums are tropicals from the Araceae (Aroid) family. I grow them indoors during the winter and outdoors the rest of the year on my shady back porch.