The Anthurium genus consists of around 1000 different species of plants that produce flowers, and these hail from the Arum family, related to the peace lily, the snake lily, and the calla lily.
You can see the resemblance in the flowers, which are usually shaped like clubs or spikes, or hearts, forming false flowers with true flowers on the spadix.
Anthurium At A Glance
Anthurium are valued not only for their gorgeous flowers, but also for their foliage, which is typically heart-shaped.
The spathes, which we refer to as flowers, are technically leaves, which serve to protect the flowers.
The true flowers actually form on the column or finger that protrudes from the spathe.
These are very long-lasting, even when cut from the main plant, lasting up to the best part of a month, and can last even longer when kept on the plant itself.
Anthurium Name Origin
The genus name describes the spadix, coming from the Greek words for flower (anthos), and tail (oura).
You may also know the plant as a flamingo plant or flamingo flower, laceleaf, or tailflower, for its unique blooms.
The Symbolism Behind Flamingo Flowers
Flamingo flowers represent beauty, joy, wealth, and health, no matter the color of the blooms themselves.
Anthurium flowers may be maroon, pink, white, red, orange, burgundy, or even bicolored, depending on the variety you go for.
They are often sold as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s gifts, thanks to their captivating flowers, typically in red or pink.
Are Flamingo Flowers Toxic?
It’s worth knowing that many plants that belong to the arum family are poisonous, and unfortunately, this also includes the flamingo lily.
They are both toxic to animals and people, and can cause serious pain if ingested, stomach upsets, vomiting, and irritation, so keep them out of reach.
Anthurium plants are bound to make a statement in any home or garden, but this isn’t their only use.
As an added bonus, flamingo plants are a great choice to help purify the air in your home, helping to make it that little bit cleaner.
There is evidence that anthurium plants will extract toluene, ammonia, xylene, and even formaldehyde from the air in your home.
Anthurium Growing Guide
Flamingo flowers are tender perennials, and will survive in USDA zones 10 through to 12 all year round.
If you live somewhere colder, don’t worry. You can grow anthurium as a houseplant without any problems.
They’ll flower in spring, summer, and fall, and never lose all of their leaves, ensuring year-round interest.
Depending on the species, flamingo flowers can reach up to 3 feet tall, but some may only get to one foot high.
Anthuriums need coarse, well-draining soil, which should not completely dry out in between watering.
They like bright, indirect light, in order to produce the most flowers possible. If you’re keeping them indoors, make sure that the plant is somewhere that has plenty of humidity.
It helps that flamingo flowers are very low maintenance, requiring dividing occasionally to keep them flowering.