>From what I can remember off the top of my head it has been my
understanding that the shimmer was caused by the shape and amount of
translucency of the epidermal cells of the leaf. The light being refracted
to provide the crystalline effect. I hadn't thought of the raphide cell
thing but it sounds good, I'll have to look at my plants tommorrow and
check that out.
Yes, this effect is found in other sections of Anthurium. For example,
Anth. clarinervium has very similar leaf surface characteristics to Anth.
crystallinum but has recently been removed from sec. Cardiolonchium. In
sec. Porphyrochitonium there is Anth. wendlingeri which is weakly
crystlline on the back side (this might be a stretch). Also Anth.
pallidiflorum ( another strap leaf from Ecuador) has a crystalline midrib
and leaf back. I believe A. pallidiflorum to be in sec. Porphyrochitonium
also, but have not discussed this with Tom Croat yet. (Tom?). I have
another Anth. sp. from Ecuador which also exhibits this effect but I do not
know what sec. it is in. It is a small birdsnest form with a velvety upper
surface and a crystalline underside it has orange berries and the plant
seems to be apomiptic (sp??)(setting seeds without pollination). I bet
others can think of more.
If I had a microscope, I would look. If you do, let us know what you see.