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Publication #FPS-42

Anthurium andraeanum Tailflower, Flamingo Flower1

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen2

Introduction

Growing best in low-light conditions, Anthurium are handsome exotics with shiny dark green, oblong, heart-shaped leaves. The long-lasting, showy flower bracts come in shades of red, rose, pink, and white with a protruding pale yellow, tail-like flower spadix. The flower bracts have a puckered appearance and shine as though they were lacquered.

Anthurium will bloom more or less continuously, each plant having four to six flowers during the year. Each flower will last about six weeks on the plant or several weeks when cut and placed in a vase of water.

Figure 1. 

Full form—Anthurium andraeanum: tailflower, flamingo flower.


Credit:

Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 2. 

Leaf—Anthurium andraeanum: tailflower, flamingo flower.


Credit:

Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

Flower—Anthurium andraeanum: tailflower, flamingo flower.


Credit:

Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 4. 

Fruit—Anthurium andraeanum: tailflower, flamingo flower.


Credit:

Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Anthurium andraeanum

Pronunciation: an-THUR-ee-um an-dree-AY-num

Common name(s): tailflower, flamingo flower

Family: Araceae

Plant type: perennial; herbaceous

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 5)

Figure 5. 

Shaded are represents a potential planting range.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year-round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: specimen; container or above-ground planter; border; ground cover; cut flowers; accent; edging; suitable for growing indoors

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Description

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Spread: 2 to 3 feet

Plant habit: upright

Plant density: open

Growth rate: slow

Texture: coarse

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: revolute

Leaf shape: sagittate (arrow)

Leaf venation: brachidodrome; pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 8 to 12 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: pink; white; salmon

Flower characteristic: year-round flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: elongated

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: red

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: usually with one stem/trunk

Current year stem/twig color: not applicable

Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in the shade

Soil tolerances: sand; acidic; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerance: poor

Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches

Other

Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Soils should be moist and high in organic matter, and relative humidity should remain high. Anthurium leaves lose their shiny texture and may die if humidity drops below 50% for more than a few days. For interior use, keep potted plants on trays of moist gravel or spray several times per day with water and protect from drafts. Single plants are best used in small gardens. In larger landscapes, a mass of many plants together looks best.

Plant two to three feet apart to form a dense foliage effect.

Propagation is by division.

Design Considerations

The shiny, deep green leaves and lush leafy form of Anthurium will give the landscape a cool tropical feel. The mass of smooth, heart-shaped leaves highlights the bright, showy flowers. Pair with plants that are softer with small foliage and low-growing mounding or spreading forms, or with other large-leaf tropicals with irregular, coarse texture such as philodendrons. Yellow-green or variegated green foliage in the companion plants will highlight the deep green of the leaves. When pairing with other flowering plants use white and bright yellows to contrast the deep green and highlight the warm reds of the flower bracts and the yellow spadix.

Pest and Diseases

No diseases are of major concern.

Mites, scales, mealy-bugs, and nematodes can be a problem.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FPS-42, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised August 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Ryan W. Klein, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Gail Hansen, associate professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.