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  [Aroid-l] Anthurium hookeri
From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2007.12.07 at 21:48:39(16783)
As I often do, I've had my nose stuck in a botany book (Tom's) and I've been trying to learn anything possible about Anthurium hookeri. I've had two large plants for many years but of late have come to find out those aren't truly A. hookeri but are likely some hybrid form of unknown parents and origin. While we lived in Miami, everyone knew the plants I have as "Anthurium hookeri"!

I've been exchanging notes with Dr. Croat and with David Scherberich and have learned Anthurium hookeri isn't even in section Pachyneurium as everyone seems to believe. The actual section placement is still under scientific study, however this message from Dr. Croat helps to explain the current research, "I personally think that it is in a new section of its own. It differs from any other section in having scalariforme veins and glandular punctations. We had hoped that molecular studies would help to sort out some of these questions but the last I heard my student Monica had not really gotten good resolution on all the sections." The plants I have both have "ruffled" edges. But a photo received from David shows something very different with no ruffled edges. Both David and Tom indicate black glandular punctates can be seen (similar to "dots") on the underside of the leaf. A fully grown leaf should have 9 to 15 veins on each side of the center leaf vein and can be up to 89cm long (roughly 3 feet). The
peduncle can be up to 47cm long or 18.5 inches. And of major interest, the seed berries are whitish in color, not red. The spadix stands erect. I've found indications on many websites (including one scientific source) which states the seed berries of Anthurium hookeri are red. Very confusing!

It is probable the vast majority of specimens sold in South Florida aren't actually this species, but instead are hybrids simply using the name "Anthurium hookeri". This email from Tom to the members Aroid l several years ago offers a more positive way to determine if a specimen is truly Anthurium hookeri, "Anthurium hookeri which has scalariform veins (ladder-like) extending between the primary lateral veins. You can definitively prove it one way or the other though. If your plant has tiny black glandular dots on the lower surface and/or if it has supervolute vernation (rather than involute vernation) it is A. hookeri. If it lacks either it is a member of Anthurium section Pachyneurium series Pachyneurium." Julius explained about supervolate varnation, "Supervolate vernation is the way the very young emerging leaves are 'folded', (see page 347 of Deni Bown`s book Aroids, Plants of the Arum Family to see what involute verrnation looks like. Check this on most of your birds nest Anthuriums, very inte
resting when you notice it for the first time. Supervolute vernation is very much like what Deni calls convulute vernation which is what Anthurium hookeri has and what makes it different from all other birds nest Anthuriums, all of which Tom says have involute vernation." The lack of the glandular dots (known as glandular punctates) and "ladder like" veins precludes either of my plants from actually being Anthurium hookeri.

I'm including the scientific 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 punctate 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 diam.; 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.

The point of all this is to ask if anyone actually has the species? And, if so, do you know where one can be purchased?

Here's a link to all the information I've found so far but I'd love to learn more:


David's photo of the actual species is on my webpage.


Steve Lucas

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