Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tail flower - Anthurium schlechtendalii

We visited RHS Wisley today (a blog on the visit will follow in the near future), and this particular plant caught our attention for its unusual flower spadix and dramtic leaves.

Anthurium schlechtendalii is a relative of the more well known Anthuriums that garden centres are so fond of in the house plant section, however this is one of the larger species.

It is native to Central America where it usually grows as an epiphyte or as a lithophyte, although the specimen in the Wisley glasshouse is grown in the ground. The common name refers to the long spadix (the tail), which carries the flowers.

As with other Anthuriums this one is polinated by beetles attracted by the scent of the flowers although we were unable to detect any particular scent.
With Marks hand for scale.

Detail of the spadix.

Although too tender to plant out, I think this will be a plant I look out for, as I'd love to have one as part of our summer display.


RHS Wisley


  1. We diverge. I think it's horrid. Have you seen those fluffy snakes which children carry on sticks and flap about? It looks as if one of them has got caught up with a giant cabbage that is about to run to seed. Close up, the spadix looks interesting - like a game on a board where you take little pegs in and out. What a weird thing. Interesting though.

  2. Hi Lucy, your reply made me laugh! It is a curiosity plant I suppose :)

  3. Wow! Very architectural plant! It is certainly an eye-catcher! Love the macros of its spadix.

  4. Wow, those leaves are GIGANTIC! They could swallow you right up! How does it do in a pot?

  5. What an interesting specimen. At first I thought nothing of the flowers until you showed the close up. It's so geometric, a little strange, and oddly beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  6. That is one huge leaf. In fact the whole plant is very cool looking. The bloom, or whatever, is really unusual. Don't blame you for wanting to add it to your collection.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  7. Fabulous....and the flower is really interesting, sometimes nature is amazing how it can create something so intricate and patterned

    I wonder if you could get a similar looking effect using Lysichiton americanus?

  8. Hi Tatyana, the macro of the spadix is my favourite too. Very geometric!

    Gerhard, I think it should be fine in a reasonably sized pot based on a specimen I saw at Kew. Now sourcing one is another matter :)

    Nat, it's an oddity indeed, and yes the spadix does look geometric!

    Cher, it's a statement plant with its huge size :)Overwintering might be tricky though because of its large size.

    Clive, I've forgotten about Lysichiton and now that you've mentioned it I think you definitely can get the same look with this plant. At least with the huge foliage rather than the inflorescence. Good idea!

  9. Beeeeeeezarre. It looks like something you've made from sugar (and I'm not 100% convinced you didn't, you trixy tricksters you).


  10. Lol! Not edible I'm afraid, although the spadix looks like rows of sweeties!

  11. Wow I wasn't loving it until I got to the close up shots, fabulous! Great find.

  12. I'm not super into the inflorescence but the leaves are so cool! I love all the giant Anthuriums.


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