Anthurium ID

mike4284m(z10b Ft. Lauderdale, FL)May 29, 2010

Don't know much about Anthuriums, but are these two different forms of A. schlechtendalii? The first one has leaves about 2ft long while the second's leaves are going on 5 ft.

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The veins and the spadix look good but the spathe is unlike most I've seen and the spadix is thicker. The petioles are a good indicator so can you post clear photos of the geniculum and petioles?

Just in case you aren't familiar, the geniculum is a knee-like structure at the very base of the leaf blade where it joins the petiole. The structure allows the leaf to rotate to some degree. If possible, measure the length of the petioles on the larger plant and post that with a good photo. Describe anything see about the geniculum.

If you see grooves, ridges or a canal-like structure on the mid rib of the leaf or on the petioles that will help. You may need a magnifying glass to see these.

I have a copy of the scientific description and will compare your info for you. Anthurium schlechtendalii is extremely variable and is often sold in South Florida as "Anthurium hookeri" which has little relationship.

A. hookeri produces white berries while A. schlechtendalii produces red.

Have you seen the berry color?


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:20PM
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Here is a list of things to look for to determine if the plant is Anthurium schlechtendalii. This species is variable and these characteristics may not always remain stable but these are the norms:

The roots should be a thick greenish mass with each root approximately 3 to 8 mm diameter.

The cataphylls should be moderately thick as well as 7.5 to 16 cm long. The cataphyll in case you arenÂt familiar with the term is the modified leaf that wraps around any newly emerging leaf. It will emerge green but once it dies will dry brown and then persist on the petiole as a mass of fibers.

The petioles that support the leaves should be app. 12 to 23 cm long but in almost all cases will be trapezoidal at the bottom of the petiole. When imagining the trapezoid look at the petiole as if you had cut it in half and are looking at it as s cross section. The petiole may sometimes be sharply bluntly ribbed and also have widest on the upper surface. Be sure and look for shallow grooves running parallel to each other. This known as being sulcate and may require a magnifying glass to see well.

The geniculum will be 1 to 2 cm long.

The leaf should be widest near or above middle with both the upper and lower surfaces matte to semiglossy. Look at the big vein in the middle of the leaf known as the midrib. The upper surface should be flat to weakly rounded near the base of the leaf. Sometimes it is weakly ribbed at the apex or tip of the leaf but it will be square at base on the underside but rounds as it approaches the tip of the leaf. There should be 15 to 16 primary lateral venison each side if the upper side of the leaf and those veins will be raised on both the upper and lower surfaces. The minor veins will be scarcely visible. You will also notice a collective vein near the edge (margin) of the leaf That collective vein should begin from the tip of a primary lateral vein about one quarter down from the tip blade and will run about 2 to 5 mm from edge (margin) of the leaf. The collective vein will be sunk on the upper side of the blade but raised on the underside.

The peduncle that is the stalk that is supporting your inflorescence should measure approximately 33 to 43 cm long and should be round but at places also weakly flattened as well as ribbed. The spathe should feel leathery as well as green but heavily tinged with violet/purple. Generally it is lance shaped but is something that didnÂt appear quite right to me. If you have seen the berries on the spadix they will always be red.

Check these things and let me know. If it doesnÂt match well weÂll look at other species.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:12PM
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mike4284m(z10b Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Thanks for taking the time to write all that up for me Steve. It was actually your website that led me to guess A. schlechtendalii. These are my first aroids actually since I mainly concentrate on bromeliads.

These plants were both picked up from a local mixed plant nursery and the owner called them "Bird's Nest Ferns". So there was little to go on from him. He actually had another one similar to the second that was easily 7-8ft tall.

I'll take some additional photos in the next couple days with my better camera.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:05AM
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Mike, what you encountered at the nursery is very common. The bird nest Anthurium are often called "ferns" by nursery folks that don't specialize in aroids and virtually anything with the bird nest form is often called "Anthurium hookeri".

When we lived in Miami and I became interested in aroids in the early mid 1990's every time I would ask a neighbor for the name of a similar plant it would always come back as either a "fern" or "A. hookeri".

The petiole on Anthurium schlechtendalii is very distinctively shaped since the top side of the petiole will be much wider than the lower side with the trapezoidal shape. Take a look at the petiole and geniculum and count the main veins on either side of the leaf. That will likely begin to narrow the search for a name. The bigger problem is hybridization since members of Anthurium section Pachyneurium (the birds nest forms) often cross pollinate in captive growth so you may have a combination of species. I suspected that as a result of the interesting shape of the spathe.

Let us know!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 10:02AM
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mike4284m(z10b Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Got some additional photos.

These are all of the first plant above with the smaller leaves.

Some branching of the secondary veins.

Central ridge found on the primary vein.

No sign of significant collective vein on dorsal surface.

No sign of significant collective vein on ventral surface.

Petioles have what I would consider "gutters" running along each edge on the dorsal surface.

The cross section of the petiole looks pretty trapezoidal to me, with the dorsal surface being wider than ventral.

Petiole looks about 8cm long.

No sign of berries on old inflorescences.

I'll post pics from the larger plant tomorrow.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:06AM
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Great shots. This the way to get a good ID!

I suspect this plant has more than one parent but Anthurium schlechtendalii looks to be one of them. I just see a few things that make me wonder. Since this is one of the most variable of all Anthurium species it could eeasily be a species plant but it will need to grow some more to try to determine that for certain.

Looks good! I have five or six specimens of this species, several we grew from seeds of our own plant. The leaves will grow larger in dimmer light but the plant will likely produce more inflorescences in brighter light.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:09PM
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lariann(z10 FL)

I have one very similar to the plants illustrated and it produces bright red berries in profusion, even without other "birdsnest" anthuriums around to cross with. I have been calling it a "hookeri type" but if the true A. hookeri has white berries, then mine is a schlechtendalii type instead! I'd sure like to get a real A. hookeri.

Aroidia Research

Here is a link that might be useful: Birdsnest Anthurium

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 1:00PM
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You are not the only one LariAnn!

I have tried and tried to find the real specimen and almost got one last year when the MIssouri Botanical Garden sold off some extra plants. Someone beat me to it!

The true Anthurium hookeri has some very distinctive features including primary veins that are ladder like. I was able to photograph a full grown plant in the MOBOT collection and it is very distinctive. I may have a source for seeds in the fall from and excellent grower in Hawaii and if I manage to get some I'll let you know.

Check the link below for photos and characteristics of the true species. I included the original scientific description of the species which is very brief.


Here is a link that might be useful: Anthurium hookeri

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:23AM
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The images Mike posted of the the lack of a single collective vein are a good illustration of this quote from the Standards of Anth. Descriptions - Croat,Bunting. "If collective vein is indistinct, it may be best to describe the primary lateral veins as loop-connected."

Is this assumption of mine correct?

By the way this document can be VERY helpful when trying to get an ID. If only I would have found it before I had to wing it on my last 2 Anth. Id attempts.


Here is a link that might be useful: Standards of Anth. Descriptions

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 5:27PM
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I would agree with your observation about the primaries being loop connected to be correct Scott. Great observation by the way.

I just blew a couple of the photos up 300% and I can't see a collective vein near the leaf margin anywhere. This would tend to indicate further (at least to me) there is another species involed in the parentage even though some of the characteristics do resembel A schlechtendalii.

Does the spadix appear to be pollinated? I would like to see the berries. For those that may not know, Anthurium species produce a collective vein.

A collective vein is a vein that lies parallel to and near the leaf margin into which the primary lateral veins run. The collective vein may be a continuation of a primary lateral leaf vein often the lowermost or the uppermost basal vein and may encircle or partially encircle the leaf.

Collective veins are also observed in Syngonium, Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma, some Amorphophallus and other genera.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:44PM
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