Anthurium andreanum in habitat in northwestern Ecuador
photo by Neil Carroll
Anthurium andreanum Linden, Ill. Hort. 24: 43. 1877.
Etymology: Named for the French botanist, Edouard Andre (1840-1911) who in 1876 discovered this species growing in Columbia and sent it to the nursery of Jean Linden in Belgium.
Distribution: Northwestern Ecuador and southwestern Columbia
Sectional Placement: Section Calomystrium
Notes: Anthurium andreanum grows in wet forest from about 400-1200 m. as a viney epiphyte. The cultivated forms of this species have been hybridized for many many years and form the basis for the most important cut flower crop in Hawaii.
Although the name applied to these cut flower plants is usually A. andreanum, many in fact are hybrids of several closely related species in section Calomystrium and are more accuratly reffered to as Anthurium X cultorum Birdsey. The main differences between the cultivated varieties and the wild species are a compact suckering habit and a broad range of colors and patterns in the cultivated hybrids vs. a veiny habit and only the bright orange-red spathe in the wild species.
Large colorful spathes are a rare occurrence in Anthurium with only Anthurium scherzerianum Schott approaching the size and color of Anth. andreanum. Madison speculates that since the berries of Anth. andreanum are an off color, drab yellow, the spathe takes over as an attractant, not for pollination, but for the attraction of seed dispersal agents.
Copyright © 2007 by Neil Carroll. All rights reserved.
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