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Friday, 14 November 2014

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthurium

Anthurium is a genus of about 1000 species of flowering plants, the largest genus of the arum family, Araceae. General common names include anthurium, tail-flower, flamingo flower and lace-leaf. The name comes from the Greek and means "flower-tail." And indeed the flower of this plant is unusual. On long peduncles blossoms white, pink or red slightly re-curved towards the veil - bracts. It is dominated by a straight or slightly arched, different from white to red head - small flowers inflorescence. Plant leaves are large, smooth and shiny, and the flowers stand out above them due to high stalk.

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthurium
With their open, heart-shaped flowers and tropical disposition, it's no wonder that anthurium have come to symbolize hospitality. Image credit Bernard Spragg. NZ 
The plant's stem lengths may grow to a height of 15-20 inches depending on the size of the spathe, i.e., the bigger the spathe, the longer the stem. Its leaves are usually simple, large, attractively colored and borne on long stalks. The flowering stalk is slender, ending in a fleshy column crowded with many uni$exual flowers. They have leafy bracts which may be white, yellow, red, pink, orange or green. Being popular foliage plants, Anthuriums are grown for their attractive flowering bracts which are popular with the cut flower trade. All parts of the anthurium plant, are poisonous. If ingested, may cause mild stomach disorders. The anthurium plant's sap can cause skin irritation.

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Thought to bring luck and protect against evil, legend has it that when the anemone closes its petals, it's a signal that rain is approaching. Still other mythology connects the anemone to magical fairies, who were believed to sleep under the petals after they closed at sunset. Perhaps it's because of this magical and prophetic tales that today in the language of flowers, anemones represent anticipation. Image credit PARSHOTAM LAL TANDON

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit Jesus Villarreal

Grower's Tips — All anthuriums prefer plenty of warmth, regular moisture and ample fertilizer. The easiest to grow are the A. scherzerianum and A. andreanum. These plants have been extensively hybridized and are relatively common in garden centers. Flowering anthuriums will flower any time of the year, providing they are healthy. Foliage anthuriums are mostly found at speciality greenhouses or through online nurseries. To grow them best, approximate conditions found in tropical zones, and if necessary, provide a climbing support for foliage varieties. Text Source

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit George (Digisnapper)

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit Image credit Gerard Stolk

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit ALBERTO VELARDI

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit Koshy Koshy

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit TexasEagle

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit George C. Benson, Jr

The Heart-Shaped Flower, Anthuriums
Image credit Louis Bazata

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