31 Jul2012


by Marketman

I have never liked anthuriums. They have always struck me as being more plastic and artificial looking than some flowers actually made of plastic! My mom grew them in our backyard, and used them often for ikebana style arrangements, but they always struck me as being “cold”. They are native to Central and South America, and definitely not an Asian bloom… On closer inspection, they are structurally interesting, vibrant and hardy, just not particularly endearing. But in an effort to get over personal biases, I purchased two bunches of red anthuriums in Cebu last week, for just PHP200, and wondered what to do with them. Instead of spreading them out, I tried to bunch them all together with half the blooms facing downwards into the water, and the other half coming out of the water. It was an unusual arrangement. Not sure they changed my mind about anthuriums, however. :)



  1. wendy darling says:

    Very modern arrangement, MM!
    Would work quite well with a very austere/graphic/industrial interior in any so-called “design capital” except of course, floral designer of said arrangement would probably charge 10 times more, and in a foreign currency!

    Jul 31, 2012 | 8:11 pm


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  3. Betchay says:


    Jul 31, 2012 | 8:28 pm

  4. EbbaBlue says:

    Ay, ito pala ang tawag sa flower na ito. Ako rin, hindi ko “vibes” bunch on their own. Inihahalo yan sa ibang flower in the arrangement. Mahal nyan dito, pero like MM, tingin ko plastic, hi, hihihi. When I visited Dangwa last May, dami nilang tinda nyan.

    Jul 31, 2012 | 9:07 pm

  5. Chris says:

    Was it you who used to call them, ehem, “mok” plants? I seem to recal that from early posts :-) Beautiful arrangement by the way!

    Jul 31, 2012 | 9:13 pm

  6. Migs says:

    My mother used to grow this plant. I like this flower.

    Jul 31, 2012 | 9:53 pm

  7. Papa Ethan says:

    I guess we differ on this, MM. I happen to like anthuriums precisely because of how they look like smooth plastic even though they’re 100% organic material. And they’re quite sturdy, too. With minimum fuss they last for a good couple of days.

    And like wendy darling said, anthuriums have that architectural feel to their lines (maybe because of the “industrial” look?). I’m fascinated with arrangements that use only two or three stalks mounted in unusual vessels: very photogenic subjects.

    But that’s just me. =)

    Jul 31, 2012 | 10:03 pm

  8. Elaine says:

    The woodwork(?) in the background got my attention more, I think(:

    Jul 31, 2012 | 10:17 pm

  9. Grace says:

    My mother also used to grow these and she loved them. I don’t like them though because they’re commonly used in funeral wreaths here.

    Jul 31, 2012 | 11:53 pm

  10. Voltaire Gungab says:

    Today’s trivia for you: Some people call them “penis flowers.” Perhaps if you see the other anthurium colors, you might change your mind: white, pink, variegated pink & white, yellow-orange. Several colors bunched together would look great!

    Aug 1, 2012 | 12:39 am

  11. cwid says:

    A friend’s mother once jokingly described this flower as indecent. I like the whole plant better, mainly for the leaves.

    Aug 1, 2012 | 12:46 am

  12. una says:

    It’s fascinating you find it ‘cold’ since it’s this vibrant red–Literally they are cool to the touch, I used to press them against my cheeks when I was a kid—quite refreshing. I too prefer just a few in an arrangement as the usual explosion is a bit much. Didn’t know they are from the Americas, I always thought they are quintessentially Philippine next only to Birds of Paradise. I once saw the most amazing use of this flower at the Rose Parade, thousands glued on (sans penis) to look like giant strawberries and peeled almonds to represent the seeds—wish I had a digital camera then.

    Aug 1, 2012 | 1:55 am

  13. una says:

    i forgot to add, your arrangement is quite lovely. Not the usual explosion we often see at the church altar. I don’t know what anthuriums represent as flower but it ought to be more popular on Valentines Day. It has a heart shape, it’s red and suggestive.

    Aug 1, 2012 | 3:59 am

  14. crabbychef says:

    MM, I couldn’t agree with you more about how they look plastic. I dislike them so much, I wrote a note in my death instructions stating explicitly that my family shouldn’t order them at my wake. Hehe.

    Aug 1, 2012 | 7:20 am

  15. orb says:

    Anthuriums are nice and long lasting. They usually last a month at most, if the water is replaced and stems are recut regularly (to prevent bacterial growth). Funny how some plant breeders ‘nickname’ the spadix (the actual inflorescence) as the ‘nose’. Generally, the Dutch-bred varieties have a characteristic pointy (or erect or straightened out) nose. The Hawaiian bred varieties generally have their noses arched downwards (or parallel to the spathe or the ‘colored’ leaf). Interestingly some of these noses generate some fragrance. I don’t know if there are commercially released varieties with fragrance, but I have smelled some species and plants used for breeding. There are some that smelled sweet and minty and there are others that have a hint of over-ripe jackfruit. I like the sweet and minty ones. There’s also a range of colors…from reds to oranges, pinks to purples (lavenders), greens to whites and bicolored ones called obake (a term commonly used for Hawaiian anthuriums, which means ghost in Japanese)…no blue and yellow ones though. There’s also a range of shapes and sizes of anthuriums. The biggest ones I’ve seen so far is as big as a sheet of bond paper (8 x 11.5 inches)…big enough to be used as a small hat! :)

    Aug 1, 2012 | 7:39 am

  16. ami says:

    I normally associate anthuriums to Nov 1 since this is what we buy for the cemetery because it’s durable and doesn’t wilt in the heat. We buy the big white variety.

    Aug 1, 2012 | 8:53 am

  17. Kristine says:

    I like this peculiar arrangement. It works but I still don’t like anthuriums as well. :)

    Aug 1, 2012 | 10:40 am

  18. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Love anthuriums,reminds me of home & Hawaii..plants thrive for a long time .Nice arrangements!!

    Aug 1, 2012 | 11:45 am

  19. leigh says:

    hi mm. i have to admit that to me they feel more apt when used in flowers for the dead …

    Aug 1, 2012 | 3:41 pm

  20. pixienixie says:

    @ leigh: me too! these flowers are often used in arrangements for the dead….@_@

    the arrangement is pretty unique, kudos to you MM! although i would’ve loved it more if the flowers facing downward were pointing upward instead.. like all of them are in the process of rising above the water. :D

    Aug 1, 2012 | 4:01 pm

  21. corrine says:

    Actually it’s nice ha. Something I would like to do too.

    Aug 1, 2012 | 6:10 pm

  22. Nadia & Rene says:

    I once spotted some deep violet (almost black violet) anthuriums being sold at the Baguio public market. They were so stunning that I made a mental note to use them for my bridal bouquet. Unfortunately, I never saw them again in Baguio or anywhere else :(

    Aug 1, 2012 | 10:05 pm

  23. cindy says:

    not a fan as well, but i like the idea of submerging the flower in water, i guess that could aesthetically work for most flowers. when i initially looked at the picture i thought those were red peppers in water hahaha!

    Aug 2, 2012 | 8:52 am

  24. cherryoyvr says:

    Not sure if it is the candy apple red color that turns you off. I’ve never been attracted to the red ones but really like the green ones. Have you (or your CEO) tried arranging green anthurium flowers with yellow cymbidium orchid flowers with white phalenopsis (butterfly) orchid flowers interspersed in lacy dark green ferns? The combination of these florals in repetition on your long rectangular table in Cebu might just change your mind.

    Aug 2, 2012 | 10:03 am

  25. Mrs Froggie says:

    I love anthuriums! In fact, I brought a plant from California when I relocated to Washington but unfortunately, it died after 5 months. The leaves started to have brown spots and the flowers turned brown one by one. I was so sad. I left an anthurium plant in the Philippines when I came here in the USA. That is a lovely arrangement, MM! It is like a Valentine floral arrangement! I agree with Nadia and Rene, I would like it in my bridal bouquet, too, with orchids, katleyas and such… very romantic with their heart shape exuding of exotic visions of places and experiences to come… ;)

    Aug 3, 2012 | 7:10 am

  26. Christine says:

    i just want to say… you have such a creative imagination in arranging flowers. Even that so simple, boring plastic-looking red Anthuriums look splendid and wonderful in that simple, plain vase. So nice to look at. That’s not easy to do or at least not to people like me who don’t have such talent or whatsoever…or I could try. You could write a book on flower arrangement for dinner table? I mean you have nice pictures of your creations in your archives to back it up…

    Aug 3, 2012 | 12:29 pm

  27. Weyn says:

    What a coincidence – I have a bunch I arranged in a glass cylinder, too, sitting on the dining table since Sunday. My mother is in charge of the flower arrangements for our church, so sometimes she reuses flowers that are still in good condition. I introduced her to your blog some months back because you share the same interests – good food and beautiful flowers hehe Perhaps you noticed in your stats a user looking through your floral arrangements/orchid posts recently – that would be us!

    Aug 4, 2012 | 1:28 am

  28. Mojito_drinker says:

    I don’t like anthuriums either MM!

    Aug 4, 2012 | 11:25 am

  29. lily says:

    Wow! This is the first time I have seen this arrangement of anthuriums. That is absolutely gorgeous!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 2:31 am

  30. Madel says:

    Like !

    Aug 6, 2012 | 9:01 pm


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