Anthurium crystallinum

Anthurium crystallinum


Anthurium crystallinum

Linden & André 1873

pronounced: an-THUR-ee-um kriss-TAL-in-um

(Araceae — the arum family)


common names: anthurium

Anthurium is from the Greek ανθος (anthos), a flower, and ουρα (oura), a tail; crystallinum is from the Latin crystallinus, crystalline.

Sometimes confused with Anthurium clarinervium, this grows primarily as a terrestrial, although it is also found as an epiphyte. It is probably a native of Colombia and parts of Panama, where it grows on the margins of the rainforest.

The plant grows to a height of about 60 cm.

The roots are short and thick.

The leaves are spreading, with a terete petiole that is sometimes red-violet tinged at the base, ovate in shape, acuminate at the apex and deeply lobed at the base, about 25 – 40 cm long and 15 – 22 cm wide. The upper surface of the lamina is matte and silvery, and the lower, also matte, is a much paler green, and is densely covered with reddish brown specks. The midrib and major veins are whitish in colour.

The inflorescence is upright on a stem 24 – 28 cm long, 4 – 5 mm in diameter, terete, sometimes reddish violet in colour. The spathe is leathery, green turning yellow, 9 – 12 cm long and 5 – 6.5 mm in diameter. Unlike the spadices of the Philodendron genus, that contain imperfect flowers, the flowers on plants of the Anthurium genus are bisexual. To help prevent self-pollination, the female flower parts are receptive before the male parts produce pollen; so in most cases an insect must bring pollen from another plant. Once the stamens emerge, the spadix has a very faint but pleasant aroma.

The infructescence is a spadix up to about 12 cm long, 12 mm in diameter. The violet-purple berries are narrowly ovoid, about 1 cm long and 3 – 4 mm in diameter.

In the garden or indoors, the plant prefers light, but not direct sunlight. In summer, the soil should always be kept moist. In winter it may be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. It also prefers a high aerial humidity, and this may be obtained by spraying, or by standing the pot in a tray of water.

Propagation is by division, or from seed. If the latter method is used, the seeds should be sown as soon as they are harvested. The pulp from the seeds should be removed, usually by soaking them in water for a few days. The seeds should then be sown on a moist sowing substrate such as peat moss, and potted when the sprouts are big enough to handle.


Photographs taken 2019, Arcadia

Page last updated 1st June 2019