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Tropics is a plant paradise, which probably has not revealed all its secrets over the past centuries. The variety of forms and species found here still attracts naturalists and botanists. And the most striking discoveries were made in the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries and the following decades.
History of the discovery and origin of the anthurium
In 1876, French flora explorer Edouard Andre, traveling in South America, discovered previously unknown plants called anthuriums. The specimens obtained by the scientist were described and transferred to the Old World. As it turned out, anthuriums are the most numerous genus included in the family of Aroids. In the homeland of anthurium, plants with similar external signs and growing conditions form almost nine hundred species.
Most of the genus members are epiphytes living in trees of tropical forests, creepers with long aerial roots and species that have adapted to live on rocky slopes, fixing themselves on bare stones and tiny humus deposits.
The name of the flower in Latin comes from the words "tail" and "flower", which very accurately reflects the appearance of the inflorescence of a tropical plant. But in the people the plant is called "flower of flamingos", "red tongue", but also called anthurium and male happiness. Sometimes flower growers who grow anthuriums on their window sills do not know the history of the name, but they are sure that the plant has a beneficial effect on the atmosphere in the house. So what is the remarkable anthurium, and what does this flower mean?
The symbol of male happiness - Anthurium from South America.
There is a belief that this unusual name of the plant originated in the pre-Columbian era among the local tribes inhabiting the homeland of anthurium - Colombia. There is still a legend explaining the origin of anthurium.
When the world was very young, and the gods still often descended to people, a young girl lived in one village, as beautiful as a fresh forest flower. She was loved by a brave hunter, and soon wedding hymns were supposed to sound for them, but a terrible thing happened. The envious and angry leader of a neighboring tribe, having examined the beauty of the young maiden, wanted to make her his concubine. With a detachment of soldiers, he came under the walls of the village and stormed him. Many in the village died at the hands of bloodthirsty invaders, and the girl's lover did not survive. The leader, delighted with the victory, felt himself omnipotent and ordered the elders to bring a beautiful woman to him.
The proud girl resisted, put on the best red dress, prepared for the wedding, and rushed into the fire of the conflagration, just to not get to the villain. Do not have time the sparks fly up to the sky, as the gods saw the evil happening on earth and turned the beauty into an anthurium flower.
Since then, on the site of a ravaged village, the jungle has long grown. Not a trace of the passions that raged here once left, only anthuriums bloom on the stones and roots of tall trees. And the drops flowing from the leaves remind us of old events, like the tears of a girl who misses her beloved and mourns ruined love and happiness.
The story is bitter, but in Colombia they believe that the anthurium is an excellent talisman for the newlyweds, which protects them and protects them from mistakes and quarrels. In bouquets given for weddings in South America, the flower of anthurium signifies a wish for happiness and prosperity.
Representatives of a strong sex flower can bring exceptional male power and the ability to stand up for loved ones. Therefore, the plant is necessarily present in the decoration of rooms for a young couple and after the wedding.
What do these interesting plants look like?
Since the genus is very numerous and diverse, it is possible to consider as the birthplace of anthurium a huge region from Mexico to the north of Argentina and Uruguay. Here live the most famous plants that have long found their place in greenhouses and indoor pots, and still little-studied species.
Despite the fact that Europeans are familiar with anthurium from the second half of the 19th century, a small proportion of species of this unique plant are grown at home. Most often in the culture can be found flowering varieties, among which the leader is Anthurium Andre, named after the discoverer, as well as Anthurium Scherzer. Then numerous interspecific hybrids and varieties obtained from these species have already gained popularity.
In plants of the species Andre, the origin of the anthurium and its kinship with other members of the Aroid family is most clearly guessed. The flower, or rather the inflorescence of the plant, is a dense, even ear, surrounded by a bright glossy spathe.
At home, anthuriums form only a bright red bract in a wild-growing form, but today, thanks to breeding, varieties have been produced that amaze with a variety of palettes, sizes and shades of inflorescences. In addition to red, you can find white, pink, purple, almost black, and green bedspreads. But these are not all surprises prepared by a tropical plant for lovers of indoor cultures.
If Andre's anthurium is cob nearly flat, then Anthurium Scherzer, nicknamed the “flower of the flamingo,” is distinguished by an oddly curved cob, which can be not only white, yellow or pink, but also bright red.
With proper lighting and watering, anthurium blooms, “male happiness” can last year-round, and the inflorescences do not lose their attractiveness for up to a month. When the veil fades, and the tiny flowers that make up the ear pollinate, the formation of the ovary begins. Anthurium fruits are yellow or reddish-orange berries containing two seeds each.
The decorative foliage of anthurium “male happiness” is as diverse as the flowers. Oval, pointed-heart-shaped and dissected leaves of all sizes and colors - this is the second most important decoration of culture. In this case, the surface of leaf plates that can rotate following the movement of the sun can be both glossy and matte, and a smooth green color is adjacent to the variegated.
Species with unusual foliage were identified by flower growers in the group of decorative leafy anthuriums.
Among them there are also quite a few very interesting and worthy home-grown plants, such as anthurium cristallinum from Colombian rainforests.
seeds Is it possible to keep an anthurium at home?
According to the same old legend about the origin of anthurium, the girl’s pride after her transformation into a flower has not disappeared. In order not to fall into evil hands, the plant received a caustic sap from the gods. Today, the legend has a more plausible scientific explanation. All parts of anthurium, as well as other plants of the Aroid family, contain calcium oxalate, which indeed has toxicity and the ability to cause damage to the mucous membranes.
So is it possible to keep anthurium in the house? Wouldn't the plant harm people?
The content of the hazardous substance in the green parts of this South American is not so high, so there is no risk to health in adult residents of the house. But from small children and animals that can taste the leaves, the anthurium is better removed away. Certain types of anthurium have a pronounced aroma, which should be taken into account if a person lives in the house who is sensitive to odors.
The rest of the tropical plant is not only not dangerous, but can also be useful. Anthurium is capable of assimilating a number of harmful volatile compounds entering the house, for example, with vehicle exhausts or plastics. These substances include xylene and toluene. Since the plant loves moisture, for its well-being, the grower will have to regularly humidify the air, which also has a positive effect on human health.
Anthuriums "male happiness" is not only popular indoor plants, but also cut flowers, widely used in the design of bouquets and interiors. This is due to the spectacular appearance of inflorescences and their ability to stay fresh for up to six weeks. The main trick here is to cut off the peduncle in time, when the cover is fully opened, and the ear is covered with pollen.