Friday, March 6, 2015

New Plant (But It's an Anthurium)

I bought Anthurium 'Joli' about a year ago (March 16), and haven't even seriously considered buying any other new cultivars since then, mostly because the store plants don't vary a lot. Mostly red / yellow and pink /yellow. (I did see a light pink spathe / red-purple spadix at the ex-job that was interesting last April, but I didn't have the space for it, and it wasn't that cool.1)

But I needed more flats for the Anthurium seedlings about three weeks ago, and went to the ex-job to see if they had some,2 and happened to see this guy for sale:

The greenhouse person wasn't very enthusiastic about it; she said they weren't difficult or anything, but the color wasn't to her taste, especially since the spathes start out green and develop the pink color over time, so any particular bloom spends a while being kind of inconspicuous before you even know it's there. But I'd never seen anything like this before, and I had, you know, visions of seedlings dancing in my head, and all that, plus it was pretty reasonably-priced for the ex-job ($19.99), so I went ahead and got it. A short time later, it did start to produce a new bloom, and . . . well, she's not wrong.

They really are pretty inconspicuous to begin with. After a little while, the spadix had changed color, at least, which made it slightly more noticeable --

-- but I'm still waiting for it to develop any pink. So I see her point, but am nevertheless pleased.3 I mean, I got excited about a plain green one, 'Midori,' not that long ago, so a plain green one that eventually goes on to be not plain green ought to be quite a thrill for me.

The only real problem with it so far is that I can't find a name for it. It had a Costa Farms tag in it, "Allura," but I get the impression from poking around the internet that "Allura" is the name for this particular line of plants, that it's like an Allura Collection, or something, and the name of this specific cultivar is likely something else. So, having had good luck e-mailing Westland Greenhouses a year ago to get the name 'Joli,' I thought well, what the hell, Costa's all over the place on social media and whatnot, and there's an e-mail address on their website, so surely they'll respond to a short, politely-worded request for a variety name like Westland did.

But no. Not even a "we received your question but are unable to answer it, sorry" response. This, combined with that time in 2010 when I had bought one of their Strelitzias at a big box store and I wanted to know if it could plausibly be a Strelitzia reginae, if S. reginae was a plant they produced and sold, when they were also useless, makes me think that Costa Farms is a lot less interested in engaging with the public than they pretend to be.4

(Alternately, it could be that Westland, being Canadian and all, is just that polite, and will respond to any question no matter how ridiculous, and they're the ones being weird.)

So I'm on my own, as far as locating a cultivar name. The best option I've come up with (mostly from looking at and image searches) is 'Fantasy Love.' The main problem is that different sites don't agree on what 'Fantasy Love' even looks like. The image search results that match my plant the best (which mostly derive from this original blog post) show new spathes as being mostly white, whereas my plant's are mostly green, though they change to white shortly thereafter so that's maybe close enough. However, a lot of the results also show red-violet or pinkish spadices, instead of orange like my plant.5 One website claims 'Fantasy Love' spathes are primarily white and purple. And there are a few results with red-purple blush on the spathes, instead of pink (possibly from overzealous photoshopping). I don't think these can all be accurately identifying the same variety. (Also worth noting: the original patent for 'Fantasy Love' claims that spathes start out red and change to green, which if true means that none of the plants identified as 'Fantasy Love' on line are actually 'Fantasy Love.' Though the more detailed description of the color changes, later on in the patent, describes more or less the same sequence of colors as my plant, so maybe.) Nor are there clear photos of many of the other plants in the "Love" line.6 When one looks for "love" on the net, I suppose not knowing exactly what it is you're finding comes with the territory, but this is ridiculous.

In any case. 'Fantasy Love' is far from the only green-white-pink cultivar in existence, but I can't rule it out, and all the others have similar problems, in that it's impossible to tell whether plants with which you are unfamiliar have been correctly identified in image-search results. Even if they are, the same plant will photograph very differently in different lighting conditions, too.

Consequently, I'm going to keep on calling it my NOID green-pink for now. If Costa Farms should ever happen to answer my question, or even if they send a non-answer answer like "we have no idea, believe whatever you like," I'll update this post, probably also make a new post about it, and apologize for saying such awful things about them. Or at least I'll apologize for one of the awful things. But they already have my money, so I'm not sure what would be in it for them to answer, so I'll probably never know for sure.

I don't think I've been able to pollinate the plant yet, though there could be developing berries in a couple spots on some of the old spadices, from pollinations that happened before I bought the plant. I suppose I'll know for sure in a couple months. If they were previously pollinated, and I get viable seeds out of those crosses, that could be great: I don't know who the seed parent is, and not knowing the pollen parent either means there could be a bonus addition to the gene pool. Even if the berries wind up being a self-cross, this plant means the chance to add weird spathe shapes, color-changes, and zones of different colors to my Anthurium gene pool, which may or may not wind up being helpful in five years or something.


1 Anthurium 'White Heart,' which would more accurately be 'Very Very Pale Pink, Or Kinda Pinkish-Lavender, Even, Heart:'

2 They did not. Or, well, they did, but I needed a very specific kind of flat, and they didn't have that one.
3 Though I'm not crazy about the spathe shape.

'Joli' has the same kind of weird saddle-shaped spathes, though this plant's size and shape are more extreme than 'Joli.' It appears that breeders are trying to turn Anthuriums into calla lilies (Zantedeschia) or something. That's fine with me as an eventual goal, I guess, kinda, but the intermediate stages we're getting now are more odd-looking than attractive. I like a nice flat spathe best, personally.
4 So why have a contact e-mail address at all? What's the point in soliciting communication from your customers if you're going to ignore their communications?
5 Though the older spadices are pinkish --

-- so either this is something that will develop over time, or it's something that only develops in certain cultural conditions. I'll find out which eventually.
6 Oh so very many others in addition to 'Fantasy Love:' 'Tender Love,' 'Fresh Love,' 'Sugar Love,' 'True Love,' 'Fresh Love,' 'Red Love,' 'Sunny Love,' 'Lady Love,' 'Exciting Love,' 'Bright Love,' 'Orange Love,' 'Candy Love,' 'Changing Love,' 'Summer Love,' and 'Happy Love,' at least. I have nothing in particular against love, but this makes me kind of want to barf.


TL said...

I have an Anthurium that was sold as "Fantasy Love" (produced by RijnPlants). It looks pretty much like it does on their website. New flowers have white spadixes and spathes, then the spadix turns pink and after that the spathe starts developing pink veins. Green usually doesn't start appearing before the flower's been around for a month or two though but I suppose that might depend on growing conditions. The spadix colour fades to very pale greenish-pinkish-white in the end. It certainly is interesting how it changes but I'm pretty sure mine is sterile. I've never seen it shed or be ready for pollen. Somehow something alike a berry appeared once but it aborted.

The flowers are remarkably long-lived though. The oldest on my plant must be at least 9 months by now and it doesn't look like it'll wither soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the spathe color, too. I love anthuriums in general, even if I can't keep them alive, and any new-to-me color variant is exciting. The pink veins and blushing near the spadix give a nice, delicate look.

mr_subjunctive said...


Lack of pollen doesn't necessarily mean that it's sterile; the Anthurium breeding guide says that some cultivars just don't make any. A few of my plants have definitely produced berries even though I've never seen them shed pollen. Now, never appearing to be receiving pollen, that's a problem.

Your plant sounds pretty similar to mine, but different enough that I'd bet it's not the same thing.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the RijnPlant website, and they appear to have three other color-changing plants (excluding 'Fantasy Love' and the Picasso dye-injected series, who are filthy whore-plants, barely even worthy of being called Anthuriums: *spits contemptuously*): 'Caipirinha,' which looks like it starts out coral-pink and adds green over time, 'Renoir,' which seems to be pink, green, and white as soon as the spathe opens, and 'Pink Romance,' which is shaped a lot more like my plant than the others, and what I can see of the leaves looks similar, but I can't tell what the color progression is like from the photo. So I suppose my plant might be 'Pink Romance,' or at least I couldn't rule it out.

Jeane said...

I think the pink veins are very pretty.

Michael Byun said...

Not sure what it is myself. I have one of these, or at least one similar to it, and as far as I can tell it's just some sort of Obake anthurium. From my research a while ago "obake" means "ghost" or "changing" or something like that, and describes multicolored inflorescences that change in color. What I'm really hoping to find someday is an obake that has variegated spathes. There's a decent explanation here: