Flamingos for Christmas

Anthurium andraeanum is commonly known as the Flamingo Flower, Painter’s Palette, Tail Flower, Oilcloth Flower, Hawaiian Heart or Painted Tongue. © Karen Andrews

If you are looking for an alternative to your annual Christmas Poinsettia consider the Flamingo Flower, Anthurium andraeanum. It offers the much sought-after bright red and green Christmas colours. The plant has gained popularity in the UK since the 1980s. It is commonly sold as a potted plant, but is also often used as a long-lasting, exotic cut flower in bouquets. Horticulturalists have bred a wide range of colours. Plants also exhibit a greater tolerance of conditions in modern homes.

All Year Round Appeal

An additional advantage is that this evergreen perennial can flower all year round. The shiny, waxy appearance may make you wonder at first if this exotic plant is artificial. What many assume to be the flower is in fact a bract or spathe with a cylindrical spadix. The heart shape makes the plant especially appealing as a Christmas gift.

Tropical Forest Native

Flamingo Flowers are members of the Araceae or Arum family. They are native to Colombia and Ecuador, but have become popular in the ornamental flower trade. They grow on trees as epiphytes like orchids in their natural habitat. As they are used to shade in the tropical forest canopy, they do not like direct sunlight. They prefer a spot in bright, indirect light. Mist your potted plant regularly to create the right humidity, but avoid spraying the flowers directly. Cut off any wilting or browning flowers and you may enjoy a succession of flowers throughout the year.

© Karen Andrews

References and Further Reading


Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

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