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.
Fill the planting pot with equal parts of coarse sand and peat moss. Moisten the planting mix well and allow the water to drain from the bottom of the pot. Poke a planting hole into the soil.
Cut sections at least 2 inches in length of the anthurium stem using a sharp knife. Each cutting should include at least two joints.
Dust the cut end of the stem with fungicide, then insert it into the planting hole, burying at least two joints.
Mist the cutting and cover the pot with a plastic bag.
Place the bagged cutting on the heat mat, set to 70 to 75 degrees F.
Remove the cutting from the heat mat and take it out of the bag when it sprouts. This should occur within one to two months.
Place the Hawaiian Volcano Plant in a saucer or dish.
Place your Hawaiian Volcano Plant in a well-lit area but out of direct sunlight.
Pour one-half inch of water over the rock and allow the excess water to remain in the saucer. The lava acts like a sponge and will absorb sitting water. When you see that there is no longer water in the saucer, pour the same amount of water over the rock again.
Fertilize the Hawaiian Volcano once a month with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer, diluted to one-fourth the strength listed on the label. Pour the fertilizer solution over the rock as you do when watering.
Other common names for anthuriums are tailflowers and flamingo flowers.
Anthurium flowers are 3 to 6 inches long. The color range is from a deep red to a pink or white. Some blossoms are even speckled.
Anthuriums like warm climates year-round. They prefer 85-degree F days and 65 degrees F at night. To encourage blooming, reduce the nighttime temperature to 60 degrees F for six weeks.
Anthuriums need constant moisture and high humidity when actively growing. Let the soil dry a little between waterings.
Anthuriums are sold commercially as cut flowers. They are also grown in containers for use in interiorscapes and landscapes in warm climates.
Anthurium is toxic to the taste and touch. It causes irritation of the mouth and digestive system. It causes skin and eye irritation with external contact with the sap.
The hibiscus is one of the most iconic Hawaiian flowers, with its large round petals, prominent stamen, and many vibrant colors. The hibiscus is native to the islands, and the yellow variety is the state's official flower.
The plumeria is a medium-sized, sweet-smelling blossom that is one of the most common flowers used in lei-making. White, yellow and pink are common plumeria colors.
The anthurium, a relative of the calla lily, is a heart-shaped flower with an unusual, waxy texture that makes it very resilient, even after being cut.
Defying the stereotype of the small, delicate Hawaiian flower, the protea is a large, bell-shaped bloom with numerous feather-like petals. Mauve and pink proteas are common, with dark or even black petal-tips. Proteas are easily dried and preserved.
Bird of Paradise
Named for its beak-like shape and colorful crown of blue and gold petals, the bird of paradise is a Hawaiian icon, in spite of its likely origin in Africa.
Like the anthurium, ginger is a hardy, long-lasting flower. Ginger flowers are typically shaped a little like pine cones, featuring short, radial petals. Though there are many varieties, pink and red gingers are the most well known.
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