Update on Silver Buttonwood cuttings

I wrote about my cuttings of Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus) in my Florida acquisitions post a couple of weeks ago.  It has now been about 7 weeks since I prepared my cuttings and put them into the sealed container of vermiculite.  I have uncapped the top a couple of times to check and see how they were doing, removing any dead leaves from the stems, but otherwise leaving them alone.  The good news is that only a couple of leaves have fallen off the cuttings and they seem to be pretty happy.  The cuttings that I put directly in water began to rot within a couple of days and they quickly lost all of their leaves.  So I was feeling pretty good about my sealed container of cuttings.

Silver Buttonwood cutting
Silver Buttonwood cutting with one root starting

Last night I decided it was time to pluck one of the cuttings and see if there was any root growth started.  I was expecting either a bunch of tiny, fibrous roots or nothing.  This is based solely on my past experiences with rooting semi-hardwood cuttings.  What I found, instead, was one thick little root starting.  Not fibrous by any stretch of the imagination.

First root emerging from a Silver Buttonwood cutting
First root emerging from a Silver Buttonwood cutting

I’m really happy to see this root emerging and now I have an idea about the rate of growth.  7 weeks = 1/2 cm.  Pretty slow.  However, it’s possible that the root really just started to emerge recently and will grow much quicker now that it has started.  It’s also possible that these cuttings want something different – substrate, light, temperature, water.  Who knows.  I’m glad I’m getting some results.

I carefully replaced the cutting in the container and left the others alone.  I will give them another month or so, before checking again.  Hopefully at that time, they will be ready to transplant to individual pots and start life as little saplings.

Velvet aroids

I have compiled a list of some of the velvetiest aroids there are.  Not velvet Evlises, velvet aroids.  When I speak of velvet aroids, the main criteria is the feel of the leaves.  Some people describe a wide range of textures as being “velvety,” while others notice small differences in the textures that make them more “satiny” or more like velour.  The feel of the most velvety aroids is made possible due to tiny hairs which reside on the upper leaf surface.  Botanically speaking, this is referred to as velutinous (velvety) adaxial (upper) surfaces.

Most of my blog posts include pictures of my own plants, or at least pictures that I took while visiting some place with nice plants.  This post is an exception.  A majority of the pictures are being used, with permission, from various friends in the International Aroid Society.  Many of these are from Enid Offolter, of NSE Tropicals.  (By the way, Enid probably has the best selection of these plants available for sale.)  Since I don’t own many of these plants, I have to rely on other people’s pictures and descriptions for classifying them as velvety or something similar.  Which brings me to the secondary criteria for being on my velvet aroids list – which is appearance.  Most (but not all) of these plants have an iridescence when you look at the leaves, due to their velvetiness.  It is very prominent on some plants.  Sometimes this feature doesn’t always show up well in photographs, but there are quite a few photographs where you can see this.

Unknown velvet Anthurium at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City
Unknown velvet Anthurium at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City

I decided that I would concentrate on two genera only for this post – Anthurium and Philodendron.  There are certainly other aroids with velvety textures, although I do believe the most velvety aroids are from these two genera.  I have mentioned others at the end, but I know that when I depart from these two genera, I have no chance of being comprehensive, especially with the gazillion cultivars of Colocasia and Caladium, which are somewhat velvety.

I should also mention that some of these plants change texture with maturity.  For instance, Philodendron hederaceum is quite velvety in juvenile form, but eventually becomes glossy.  Other species only attain the velvety texture when they reach maturity.  Many times it is difficult to tell the differences in these different species, hybrids and cultivars, especially when you are switching back and forth between different websites.  It is a little easier to compare them here, with them all pictured together.  That was part of my impetus for writing this post.  In some cases, seeing their pictures side by side makes you wonder how they are different species!  (see Anthurium crystallinum and Anthurium clarinervium)  But there are distinct differences as you train your eye and begin to look at other parts of the plant, beyond the shape and colors of the leaves.  Enid Offolter has some expertise and tells me that the cross section of the petioles (3, 4 or 5 sided) can tell you a lot about these two plants and the various hybrids.  There is a really good discussion (with photos) about identifying the differences between Anthurium angamarcanum and Anthurium marmoratum here.

And now, on to the list…

 Velvet Anthuriums

Anthurium angamarcanum

If you clicked on that link above, you have already seen some photos of individual leaves of Anthurium angamarcanum, but below you can see a mature plant in all its glory.  Beautiful.

Anthurium angamarcanum
Anthurium angamarcanum at the Atlanta Botanical Garden - photo courtesy Brian Williams

Anthurium besseae

I am not really familiar with this plant and haven’t heard of anyone growing it in cultivation.  I only found a couple of websites with information on this plant.  Since one of them is Tropicos, I know that it is a valid species.

Anthurium besseae - photo courtesy Dr. Thomas Croat
Anthurium besseae - photo courtesy Dr. Thomas Croat

Anthurium clarinervium

This species is very hard for me to separate from Anthurium crystallinum (lower down in the post).  So, how do I know which one is which?  Well, here’s my method.  If the veins on the leaves are so vibrantly white/gold that they are burning your retinas…  that’s clarinervium.  (Did you click that link?  I did warn you.)  If the veins are vibrant but your retinas aren’t in pain, more likely crystallinum.

Anthurium clarinervium - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium clarinervium - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium UNKNOWN

This Anthurium has special leaves. They look like the skin of an elephant in their rough texture.  At the same time, they look soft.  See what I mean?  There is a plant in the Alocasia genus with similar looking leaves, but they are very stiff and not velvety.  That plant is Alocasia ‘Maharani.’

Anthurium UNKNOWN - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium UNKNOWN- photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium UNKNOWN - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer
Anthurium UNKNOWN - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer
Anthurium UNKNOWN (darker leaf) - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer
Anthurium UNKNOWN (darker leaf) - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer

Anthurium crystallinum

This is one of the few velvet plants that I own.  I just bought it at the IAS show and sale in Miami last September.  It is still a small plant, but it will one day be a huge and beautiful specimen (if I can keep it alive and happy).  It definitely does not loose it’s velvetiness with maturity.  In fact, this is probably one of those plants which becomes more velvety with age.

My little Anthurium crystallinum
My little Anthurium crystallinum
Anthurium crystallinum - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium crystallinum - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Sometimes this plant produces leaves with a closed sinus.  The sinus is the upper opening on the heart-shape.  A picture of Anthurium crystallinum with a closed sinus is shown on the Exotic Rainforest website, here.

Anthurium crystallinum - photo courtesy Christopher Rogers
Anthurium crystallinum - photo courtesy Christopher Rogers

Anthurium ‘Mehani’

As far as I understand, this plant is a cultivar of the species Anthurium crystallinum.  That just means that there were some desirable traits of a certain plant and it was propagated (probably cloned via tissue culture) so that all of the offspring would have the same traits.  It is usually just labeled Anthurium ‘Mehani’, but should really be labeled Anthurium crystallinum ‘Mehani.’

Anthurium 'Mehani' - photo courtesy mr_subjunctive
Anthurium 'Mehani' - photo courtesy mr_subjunctive
Anthurium 'Mehani' - photo courtesy mr_subjunctive
Anthurium 'Mehani' inflorescence - photo courtesy mr_subjunctive
Anthurium 'Mehani' - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium 'Mehani' - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium forgetii

This plant is very uncommon in cultivation, but I did find a couple of nice photos.

Anthurium forgetii - photo courtesy David Scherberich
Anthurium forgetii - photo courtesy David Scherberich
Anthurium forgetii - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium forgetii - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium hoffmannii

This is not a common plant in cultivation and it looks very similar to some of the other velvet Anthuriums.  I am told this one is more of a satiny texture.

Anthurium hoffmannii - photo courtesy Russ Hammer
Anthurium hoffmannii - photo courtesy Russ Hammer

Anthurium leuconeurum

According to Deni Brown’s book “Aroids: plants of the Arum family”, this might not be a species, but a naturally occurring hybrid.  For the time being it is given species status.  Here are a couple of links with some information on this plant: World Field Guide, Araceum.

Anthurium leuconeurum - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer
Anthurium leuconeurum - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer

Anthurium magnificum

This is one of those plants that is a little more satiny than velvety, I am told.

Anthurium magnificum - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium magnificum - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium marmoratum

This Anthurium has large leaves whose leaves are strongly iridescent.

Anthurium marmoratum - photo courtesy Steve Lucas
Anthurium marmoratum - photo courtesy Steve Lucas
Anthurium marmoratum - photo courtesy Ron Kaufmann
Anthurium marmoratum - photo courtesy Ron Kaufmann
Anthurium marmoratum with inflorescence - photo courtesy Ron Kaufmann
Anthurium marmoratum with inflorescence - photo courtesy Ron Kaufmann

Anthurium pallidiflorum

This is a strap-leaf, pendent Anthurium, with satiny iridescent leaves.  I have a small seedling of this plant, but it’s nothing to look at yet.  Here’s an excellent picture, and another here.

Anthurium pallidiflorum - photo courtesy Christopher Rogers
Anthurium pallidiflorum - photo courtesy Christopher Rogers

Anthurium papillilaminum

This plant blows me away.  Check out those dark leaves with such an interesting shape.  Very cool.

Anthurium papillilaminum - photo courtesy of Enid Offolter
Anthurium papillilaminum - photo courtesy of Enid Offolter

Anthurium portilloi

This is one of those plants that might be better described as satiny, as opposed to velvety.  It certainly looks that way from the picture.

Anthurium portilloi
Anthurium portilloi - photo courtesy of Enid Offolter

Anthurium regale

This is one of the more common velvet Anthuriums in cultivation (not that any of them are really common).  It looks very similar to A. crystallinum, A. clarinervium and A. magnificum.  The main difference in appearance, that I notice, is that the sinus of A. regale is considerably wider than any of the others.  One of Steve Lucas’s photos has been immortalized on the latest International Aroid Society promotional brochures.

Anthurium regale - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium regale - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium vittariifolium

This is another of the strap-leaf, pendent Anthuriums.  It has satiny leaves of a silver-blue-green color.  There are also some really nice pictures of strap-leaved Anthuriums at the Palm Talk forum here.

Anthurium vittariifolium - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium vittariifolium - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium vittariifolium at the Audubon House, Key West, Florida
Anthurium vittariifolium at the Audubon House, Key West, Florida

Anthurium warocqueanum

This beautiful Anthurium is known for it’s long and slender leaves with velvet texture.  It has been given the common name “Queen Anthurium”, while Anthurium veitchii is known as the “King Anthurium.”  While both of these plants have long, slender leaves, the King Anthurium has a slick, glossy texture to the dark leaves.

The Queen Anthurium - Anthurium warocqueanum - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
The Queen Anthurium - Anthurium warocqueanum - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium warocqueanum (wide leaf) - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium warocqueanum (wide leaf variety) - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium ‘Ace of Spades’

This plant is presumed to be a hybrid, but the parentage is unknown.  The hybrid is believed to have originated in Hawaii and that’s about all we know.  The most prominent characteristic is the bronze/red leaves, which you can see in each of the following images.

Anthurium 'Ace of Spades' - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium 'Ace of Spades' - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium 'Ace of Spades' - photo courtesy Leslie Rule
Anthurium 'Ace of Spades' - photo courtesy Leslie Rule
Anthurium 'Ace of Spades' with inflorescence - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer
Anthurium 'Ace of Spades' with inflorescence - photo courtesy Taylor Holzer

Anthurium ‘Dark Mama’ (Anth. warocqueanum x. Anth. papillilaminum)

This hybrid is the offspring of a set of velvety Anthuriums, resulting in a really unique leaf shape and great, dark color.  Look at the iridescence showing up on that lower right leaf.  Beautiful.

Anthurium hybrid (A. warocqueanum x. A. papillilaminum)
Anthurium 'Dark Mama' (A. warocqueanum x. A. papillilaminum) - photo courtesy of Enid Offolter

Anthurium ‘Kybutzii’

This plant is of unknown origin.  It might be a species or it could be a naturally occurring hybrid.  It has large, satiny leaves and what appears to be raised primary veins on the adaxial (upper) leaf surface.

Anthurium 'Kybutzii' - photo courtesy Leland Miyano
Anthurium 'Kybutzii' - photo courtesy Leland Miyano

Anthurium ‘Nikki’

This is another Anthurium hybrid of unknown parentage.  It came from a notable grower in India.

Anthurium 'Nikki' - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium 'Nikki' - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium 'Nikki' variegated - photo courtesy Enid Offolter
Anthurium 'Nikki' variegated - photo courtesy Enid Offolter

Anthurium hybrid (Anth. magnificum x. Anth. crystallinum)

Of all the pictures in this post, I think this one is the most striking.  This is quite a unique hybrid.  The most recent plant sold for $52.50 on eBay!

Anthurium hybrid (A. magnificum x. A. crystallinum)
Anthurium hybrid (A. magnificum x. A. crystallinum) - photo courtesy of Enid Offolter

This post continues, so please click on the “2” below.

Maxillaria in bloom

My friend, Jason, sent me some orchid seedlings about a month ago, along with a cutting of a Maxillaria.  I put all of these little orchids in pots of moist sphagnum and put them in sealed plastic container.  (It’s actually one of those containers they put rotisserie chickens in at Wal-Mart.)

I’ve been checking on these little ones pretty regularly, making sure I’m not growing mold in there and that the orchids aren’t rotting.  Nothing much has been happening one way or another.

Orchid prenatal ward
Orchid prenatal ward

Just recently I looked at the container and noticed some yellow.  Uh-oh, I thought.  Something is getting fried or is unhappy.  I opened the container to find that that little Maxillaria variabilis cutting was in bloom!

Maxillaria variabilis
Maxillaria variabilis

So much for raising a plant to blooming size!

Maxillaria variabilis
Maxillaria variabilis