Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum), also known as the flamingo flower or boy flower, is a tropical, slow-growing perennial. It is native to South and Central America, and it also is grown in Hawaii and other tropical areas. All parts of the plant are poisonous.
Anthurium has petiolated, lobed and cordate green leaves of variable sizes, according to the University of the West Indies (UWI). Petiolated means the leaf is attached to the stalk by a stem; lobed means indented margins; cordate means heart-shaped.
The leaves, which have a reticulate venation (a branching vascular system with successively thinner veins) with a prominent midrib, lateral veins and a well-defined leaf margin, are arranged spirally, either clockwise or anticlockwise, according to the UWI.
The anthurium flower stalk or petiole grows from 12 to 24 inches long. The rounded stalk holds up a waxy, modified leaf (spathe), which surrounds the spadix, the fleshy spike that holds the flowers.
At the end of the petiole, surrounded by the spathe, is the inflorescence, or flower spadix. The spadix holds the "true flowers," each of which has a pistil surrounded by four stamens. Anthurium flowers come in red, green, white, rose, salmon, brown, cream, lavender or multicoloured.
At the top of the petiole is the geniculum, a slightly swollen organ that lets the leaf rotate to collect sunlight.
The anthurium plant is an underground rhizome with adventitious roots, according to the UWI. Adventitious roots lack buds or nodes.
When anthurium grows as an epiphyte (clinging to another plant for support but not depending on it for nutrition), the roots don't need to anchor it to the ground, so they tend to be small and inconsequential.