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    (Click here to return to Plants & Creatures)

    Common Name:Anthurium
    Red Heart Shaped
    Scientific:Anthurium acaule
    Flower Color:Whites, Pinks, Reds, Greens, Varied
    Uses:Commercial floral arrangements
    Habitat:Sea level to 4,000 ft

    The Anthurium is a cash crop in Hawai'i with many local flower wholesalers and retailers selling the flower worldwide. Most anthurium farms are located in the Puna area on the Big Island due to the wet climate. Anthuriums for commercial sale are grown in tented growing areas. Anthuriums also grow extremely well below the Hapu'u Fern and many growers raise anthuriums under rows of raised ferns.

    The anthurium is also a favorite plant in many yards and gardens. Because there so many anthuriums on the Big Island many have escaped into the wild - but do not pose any threat.

    There are many varieties of anthurium, some natural mixes and others genetically engineered. In general the colors range from whites to pinks and reds, but there are also green varieties and also varieties where the flowers are multi-colored such as the Obake and Splash anthuriums.

    All anthuriums are rigid flowers with a thick and waxy feel and appearance. Indeed, many people do not initially believe the plants are real because of the shiny, durable and waxy appearance of the flowers.

    Actually, what people think of as the flower is in fact the spathe of the plant. In the middle of the spathe is an upright organ called the spandix. The flowers actually grow on the spadix but are so small as to only look like tiny bumps.

    Anthuriums are wonderful plants to ship to people as gifts. As a cut flower they can last for months as long as you keep the stems in fresh water. When a cut anthurium reaches its life span the spadix discolors and falls off, followed by the discoloring of the spathe. To keep anthuriums fresher even longer apply a layer of wax over the spadix to cut down on water evaporation.

    A Pinkish White Variety

    Peppermint Splash Variety

    A White and Pink Together

    Large Green Leaves

    Big Waxy Leaves

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    Nene photo in top graphics by Brenda Zaun