Linden Cat. 90: t. 128. 1873.
TYPE: The description was based on a plant collected by Wallis and cultivated in Brussels by Linden; the illustration in 111. Hort. (20: t. 128. 1873) serves as the type.
Epiphyte; stem to 25 cm long, 2-2.5 cm diam., green; internodes very short; leaf scars 1.5-1.7 cm wide; roots short, thick, descending; cataphylls subcoriaceous, 3.5-6 cm long, narrowly apiculate at apex, drying medium brown (B & K yellow 4/5), apex persisting intact, splitting at base.
LEAVES spreading; petioles terete, sometimes tinged red-violet at base; geniculum 1.4-3 cm long; blades held more or less parallel to stem, narrowly ovate to ovate, moderately thin, abruptly acuminate at apex, deeply lobed at base, 25-39 cm long, 15.3-22.2 cm wide, broadest at middle or just below; anterior lobes 20-33 cm long, the margins rounded; posterior lobes 5.5-10 cm long (from apex of sinus to outermost point); sinus obovate to triangular, sometimes closed (rarely with the margins fused, blade peltate), acute or obtuse to narrowly rounded at apex; upper surface matte, velvety, minutely papillate; lower surface matte, densely and obscurely speckled reddish brown; midrib convex, weakly raised above, flat toward middle, scarcely sunken toward apex, acutely raised below; basal veins 4-5 pairs, first to third free to base, the remainder coalesced ca. 1.5 cm, all major veins (including some secondary veins) much paler and outlined by a pale area on blade surface; posterior rib naked, weakly turned up; primary lateral veins 1-3 per side, departing midrib at 40-45° angle, straight toward collective vein, then curving upward toward apex; interprimary veins scarcely visible; secondary veins conspicuous especially at base of blade; collective vein arising from the first basal vein or one of the primary lateral veins, usually forming an acute angle with the margin, loop-connecting the primary lateral veins.
INFLORESCENCE erect-spreading; peduncle (10-)24-28 cm long, 4÷5 mm diam., terete, sometimes tinged red-violet; spathe subcoriaceous, green, heavily tinged red-violet, oblong-lanceolate, 7-9.3 cm long, 1.5-2.1 cm wide, broadest just above base, gradually acuminate at apex, rounded at base; inserted at 38-45° angle on peduncle; spadix green turning yellow, gradually tapered toward apex, 9-12 cm long, 5-6.5 mm diam. near base, ca. 4 mm diam. Near apex; flowers square to sub-4-lobed, 2.5-3.5 mm in both directions, the sides more or less straight tojaggedly sigmoid, 3-5 flowers visible in either spiral; tepals glossy, lateral tepals 1.1-1.7 mm wide, the inner margin broadly rounded; pistils weakly emergent, green; stigma oblong-linear, 0.4-0.6 mm long; stamens emerging promptly from base, the laterals emerging nearly to apex before the third and fourth emerge at base: anthers yellow, held in a tight circle around pistil. ca. 0.4 mm long, 0.9 mm wide; thecae ovate.. scarcely divaricate; pollen pale yellow.
INFRUCTESCENCE with spadix to 12 cm long. 12 mm diam.; berries narrowly ovoid, white tinged violet purple, beaked at apex, ca. 1 cm long, 3-4 mm diam.; mesocarp juicy, clear with whitish raphide cells. Fig. 62.
Anthurium crystallinum was collected originally in the area of Nueva Granada (probably Colombia) in South America; however, more recently it has been collected from Panama where it is known only from premontane rain forest in the vicinity of Cerro Pirre at about 1,400 m.
The species is a member of section Cardiolonchium and is distinguished by its deep green. velvety blade that has a paler venation surrounded by a pale green area outlining the veins and by its yellow spadix with a faint pleasant aroma as the stamens emerge. It is most closely related to Anthurium papillilaminum from lower elevations in the vicinity of the isthmus. The latter species diners in being terrestrial, having a green spadix at an thesis and especially in lacking the pale discolored areas bordering the major veins of the upper blade surface.
One collection (Sheffer 175), believed to be this species, was prepared from a cultivated plant at the University of Hawaii. It is unusual in exhibiting a weakly peltate leaf blade and in having unusually large flowers (3.2-6 mm long). The closed sinus on this plant corresponds better to the type illustration than the Folsom collections. which have a more open sinus, but the collection is believed to represent material also collected on or near Cerro Pirre by Dr. Sandy FairchiM (and later given to Dr. H. Kamemoto at the University of Hawaii).
No type specimen has ever been located nor have any Colombian collections been seen. No collections have been seen that correspond well with the illustration by Linden and Andre (111. Hort. 24: t. 128. 1877), which shows a closed sinus divided all the way to the petiole. The species was no doubt widely cultivated in Europe during Engler's time and his annotations clearly show that he accepted as part of A. crystallinum many specimens that had a relatively open sinus (such as the collections from Cerro Pirre). The Sheffer (775) collection comes closest to matching the type except for the fact that the blade tissue is fused for about 1 cm at the apex of the sinus.
Map of Mesoamerican specimens with coordinates
Panama Darien: 550-760 m, 7.57N 77.46W, 28 June 1988, Thomas B. Croat
Panama Darien: 1250-1500 m, 8.04.30N 77.14.00W, 20-26 Oct. 1987, Greg de Nevers, H. Cuadros, B. Hammel & H. Herrera 8494 (MO).
Map of South American Specimens with coordinates
Colombia : Medellin: Pto. Triumfo,, 28 April 1983, Thomas B. Croat 56355A
Colombia : 05.30.30N 074.51.00W, April 1983, Thomas B. Croat 56255A .
Colombia Antioquia: 5.54N 74.51W, 8 May 1983, Thomas B. Croat 56549 (CM, COL, MO, NY, SEL).
Colombia Antioquia: 900 m,, 7 Jan 1946, Uribe 1158 (COL).
Colombia Antioquia:, 6 Jan 1949, Uribe 1902 (COL).
Colombia Risaralda: Río San Juan, 5.12N 76.07W, 29 April 1983, Thomas B. Croat 56351 (MO).
Colombia Tolima: 500 m,, 24 Sep 1959, Fernandez & Uribe 5665 (COL).