Native to tropical American rain forests, these exotic-looking plants are prized for their large, often glossy leaves and distinctive flowers (a large, flattish bract surrounding a slender, fleshy spike). Among the species listed here, all but A. hookeri are usually grown as potted plants, even in tropical climates. Anthuriums, sometimes called flamingo flowers, make unusual houseplants in cooler climates.
A. andraeanum. FLAMING ANTHURIUM. Dark green, oblong leaves to 1 ft. long and 6 in. wide, heart shaped at base. Spreading, heart-shaped, puckered bracts to 6 in. long come in shades of red, rose, pink, or white, and they shine as though lacquered. Spikes are yellow. Bloom more or less continuousplant may have from four to six flowers during the year. Flowers last 6 weeks on plant, 4 weeks after cutting.
A. crystallinum. Handsome, heart-shaped leaves to 112 ft. long, 1 ft. wide, deep green with striking white veining. Unexciting flowers with small, narrow, greenish bracts.
A. hookeri. Grown in the tropical landscape for handsome, foot-wide nest of leaves that can reach 8 in. long. Excellent as an accent in a wind-sheltered garden or as a potted specimen. Indoors or out, needs high humidity. Grow in well-aerated, rich, moist soil; feed regularly.
A. scherzerianum. Slow-growing, compact plant to 2 ft. Dark green leaves 8 in. long, 2 in. wide. Broad, 3-in.-long bracts in deep red varying to rose, salmon, white. Yellow, spirally coiled flower spikes.