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Re: Does anyone grow the real Anthurium hookeri?

  • Subject: Re: Does anyone grow the real Anthurium hookeri?
  • From: ExoticRainforest <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 15:53:18 -0500

Dylan, I have experienced the same thing.  I have an Anthurium schlechtendalli that was in the ground in our atrium for years.  When in the ground it produced fruit every September and I gave away seeds as well as seedlings.  The leaves were always close to 2 meters.

Two years ago  I put it in a large pot and hung it from the rafters since I thought it would be really neat to look up and see the enormous span of the plant.  Since then the leaves have shrunk in size and even though we've seen four inflorescences this year, nothing has pollinated.  Obviously I am now reconsidering and will likely put it back in the ground.  I know suspect this species really does like lower light.

If anyone knows why this happens I'd really like to hear an explanation.

I am receiving private mail from folks that want to grow the species Anthurium hookeri so I'm sure others would like to have specimens of this unique species.

One day I'm going to find a good reason to come visit the garden!


On 6/11/2010 12:21, Hannon wrote:

We have one mature plant of A. hookeri at The Huntington. I believe it
is "ex hort." and so has no wild provenance. It looks like what you
have pictured here and it does have the dark punctations. The fruits
are also similar to those in your photo but it has not produced fruit
for several years, probably due to low light conditions. Next time it
"does something" I will take care to try to generate some seedlings.

It is odd how many anthuriums will flower freely without fruiting,
often when cramped in pots, yet once they have free root run and
attain some critical size they start regularly setting fruit with
fertile seeds. Have you had similar experiences? Are the stigmas
simply receptive for a longer period under more favorable conditions?



On 10/06/2010, ExoticRainforest <Steve@exoticrainforest.com> wrote:

I have been seeking a specimen of the real Anthurium hookeri for years!
Before you immediately respond and say yes, please look at the photos and
read the descriptions in this thread.  The majority of plants sold in
Florida are not the true species known to science as Anthurium hookeri. but
instead a plant using the name as a common name. This plant appears to be
far rarer than many of us believe.  It is found largely in the windward
islands of the Caribbean but also in French Guiana and other countries
including Venezuela.  I've talked several times to Joep Moonen in French
Guiana about it and he sees it rarely.

Few people appear to be able to give a good reason why almost everyone in
Florida thinks they are growing Anthurium hookeri in their yard when they
are not. Well known IAS member and commercial aroid grower Denis Rotolante
in Homestead offered the best reason I have been able to find, "As many
nurserymen down here know, Anthurium hookeri is a catch all name applied to
all bird nest type Anthuriums regardless of true taxonomic origins."   Many
of those hybrid plants sold in Florida appear to be more closely related to
Anthurium schlechtendalii or Anthurium plowmanii than to Anthurium hookeri.

If you believe you are growing Anthurium hookeri and your plant matches the
photos and information in this thread I know for certain there are other
growers that want to find it, including me!

The first two photo shows a specimen of the true Anthurium hookeri
photographed at the Missouri botanical Garden.  Look closely at the leaves
and veins.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of the true Anthurium hookeri is
it does not produce red berries as is commonly believed on the internet and
many plant forums. The berries of the true species are white.

Virtually all the information on the Internet stating the berries are red is
inaccurate. I even found one noted garden showing a photo of an
infructescence with red berries.  The plant referred to in all the garden
site posts appears to be one of the common plants sold in Florida using the
name only as a common name and not referring to the true species..

The next distinctive characteristic of Anthurium hookeri is the interprimary
veins are evenly spaced similar to the rungs of a ladder.  In science this
even spacing is known as the venation being scalariforme.

Another important  characteristic is a newly emerging leaf unfurls in a way
that is not seen in other bird’s nest Anthurium species.  The unusual way
the new leaves of Anthurium hookeri are rolled is known as being supervolute
vernation and are very unusual in most species.  That term indicates the new
leaves possess coils or folds in overlapping whorls.  Vernation refers to
the arrangement of young leaf blades and supervolute vernation is to possess
a convolute arrangement in the folding or arrangement of a newly emerging
leaf blade with one margin (edge) of the newly blade emerging rolled inward
toward the midrib and the opposite margin rolled around the midrib o the
opposite leaf f in a manner similar to the coil at the end of a conch shell.

All bird’s nest Anthurium, at least those that are members of Anthurium
section Pachyneurium,  produce convolute new leaves.  The only difference in
supervolute and convolute vernation is convolute vernation occurs when
several leaves spiral with the next leaf in a module enclosed within the
current leaf. I realize this is difficult to understand but look at the leaf
in the photo as well as the diagram below.  Look closely at the diagram of
convolute vernation and you will see the second leaf inside the first leaf
which is common to the way bird's nest forms unfurl.  Anthurium hookeri is
the only exception according to Dr. Croat.  Tom once indicated he felt
Anthurium hookeri could be in section Porphyrochitonium.

Another very important characteristic is the real Anthurium hookeri has tiny
black dots, especially on the underside of the leaves. In science these
little black dots are known as glandular punctates.

If you have real species of Anthurium hookeri please post photos and if you
know where specimens of your plant can be found please post that as well.

There are several other unique characteristics found only on Anthurium
hookeri and not on the hybrid or miss named plants commonly sold in Florida.
If you want to learn more the information can be read here:

The scientific description of Anthurium hookeri is very simple; so for
anyone that may doubt the accuracy of what I am trying to explain please
take a few seconds to read the actual description.

A. hookeri Kunth, Enum.  pl. 3:74.  1841.  Type: Schott Drawing 517 serves
as the lectotype (designated by Mayo, 1982)

Epiphyte.  Internodes short densely rooted; cataphylls lanceolate, 20-26 cm
long, dilacerating from base.  VERNATION- supervolute; Leaves rosulate;
petioles triangular to D-shaped, 2-9 cm long, 1.5-1.7 cm wide; blades
oblanceolate, broadest above middle, margins smooth, black glandular
punctates on both surfaces, 35-89 cm long, 10-26 cm wide.  Primary lateral
veins 9-15 per side, free to the margin, tertiary veins extending in a more
or less parallel, ladder-like fashion between the primary lateral veins
(scalariform).  peduncle to 47 cm long, to 5 mm dam.; spathe pale green,
tinged purple, oblong, to 9 cm long, to 1.5 cm wide; spadix violet-purple,
cylindroid-tapered, to 10-16 cm long, to 5-7 mm diam,; Infructescence-
berries, obovoid, whitish, to 6 mm long, to 4.5 mm wide.

I really want to find this plant so thanks very much for any help!


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