Magazine article Sunset

Can You Grow Hawaii's Anthurium at Home? No. but Try Costa Rica's

Magazine article Sunset

Can You Grow Hawaii's Anthurium at Home? No. but Try Costa Rica's

Article excerpt

Can you grow Hawaii's anthurium at home? No, but try Costa Rica's

Few flowers create so strong an impression on visitors to Hawaii as the anthuriums (A. andraeanum)--those big hearts that look as if they were cut from scarlet or pink patent leather and adorned with little yellow tails.

Returnees from Hawaii are often tempted to grow them at home. Unfortunately, the plants need more heat and humidity than most houses can provide. But one closely related plant, the pigtail anthurium (A. scherzeranum), a native of Costa Rica, does well as a house plant.

Its common name comes from the twisted pigtail or spike (spadix) that bears the tiny real flowers. The showy, heartshaped portion of the flower is actually a bract or modified leaf called a spathe. These are long lasting (up to two months), and flower production continues as long as plants are well cared for.

Usually bright red, spathes of seedling plants can vary to pink or white; some are spotted. Superior plants are now being selected, named, and propagated by division or tissue culture. …

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