Anthurium types: guide to the most beautiful varieties


I study landscape ecology and through my studies have discovered a love for plants. Plants are not only beautiful, but also have countless fascinating survival strategies. To bring a bit of nature into my home as well, I nurture my houseplants and herbs on every possible windowsill.

Favourite fruit: rhubarb and all kinds of berries
Favourite vegetables: onions and garlic

It is hard not to be drawn in by the large, patterned foliage and colourful bracts of the Anthurium. Here is a brief introduction to some of the most beautiful anthurium varieties.

Anthurium species green leaf with white pattern
Many Anthurium varieties have beautiful leaf patterns [Photo: agungjelantikst/]

The genus Anthurium consists of myriad species, some of which thrive as houseplants. Whether you prefer colourful bracts or decorative foliage, there is an anthurium for everyone! Read on for our overview of the most beautiful Anthurium species.

Anthurium varieties and colours

With about 1000 different species, Anthurium is a diverse genus of the arum family (Araceae) that comes in many different shapes and colours. Even within species, Anthurium varieties have bracts that range from white, through pink, purple and red to black. What all anthuriums have in common, however, is their evergreen, decorative foliage. Here is an introduction to some of the Anthurium species that have become popular houseplants.

Overview of the most beautiful anthurium species and varieties

1. Anthurium crystallinum

Anthurium crystallinum is known for its dark green leaves and striking white vein pattern. Its heart-shaped leaves can have a purple tinge at first before turning green as they develop, while its flowers are quite subtle. In its native South America, Anthurium crystallinum usually grows as an epiphyte, perched on trees or other plants. As such, it is best to plant this anthurium in loose orchid soil. Its aerial roots are not adapted to life in standard potting soil.

Crystal anthurium foliage with white pattern
Anthurium crystallinum has no coloured flower, but decorative foliage [Photo: Budi2306/]

2. Anthurium warocqueanum

Queen anthurium (Anthurium warocqueanum) looks quite like Anthurium crystallinum. Here too, the plant has dark green leaves, eye-catching white vein patterns, and subtle flowers. With the right care, the lance-shaped leaves of queen anthurium can grow up to two metres in size, which is why the species is known as the “queen of anthuriums”. In keeping with its native habitat, Anthurium warocqueanum likes bright, humid conditions.

3. Anthurium andreanum

Athurium andreanum is aparticularly popular houseplant. Also known as the flamingo flower, flamingo lily or painter’s palette, Athurium andreanum has heart-shaped leaves that grow up to 40 cm wide, and a flower bulb that is enclosed in a colourful bract. The colour of this bract depends on the plant’s variety.

Red, white, and pink-green coloured bracts of painter’s palette anthurium
The flamingo flower comes in many different colours [Photo: Lek Changply/]

4. Anthurium scherzerianum

Anthurium scherzerianum, also commonly known as flamingo flower or pigtail plant, is another popular houseplant. In contrast to anthurium andreanum, anthurium scherzerianum leaves are elongated and, at 30 cm, somewhat small. Fortunately, what the pigtail plant lacks in leaf size, it usually makes up for in flower density. Anthurium scherzerianum thrives in loose soil and a good water supply. In fact, it is possible to keep this plant in water without any soil at all!

Hybrids of the Anthurium andreanum and Anthurium scherzerianum are also common:

  • Anthurium andreanum ‘Baron’: variety with green-pink coloured bracts
  • Anthurium andreanum ‘Rosee Choco’: variety with deep red bracts
  • Anthurium andreanum ‘Midori’: variety with green bracts
  • Anthurium andreanum ‘Cheers’: variety with pink bracts
  • Anthurium andreanum ‘Acropolis’: variety with white bracts

Tip: If your anthurium does not get enough nutrients, it may produce fewer flowers or none at all. To ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients, fertilise your anthurium little and often. A potassium-rich fertiliser, like our Plantura Liquid Houseplant Food, is ideal for this, as anthuriums demand a lot of potassium while flowering.

Flamingo flower with blended pink and green bracts
The bracts can sometimes have blended colours, as with the variety ‘Baron’ [Photo: Svineyard/]

5. Anthurium veitchii

The Anthurium veitchii species is also known as the “king of anthuriums”. As with Anthurium warocqueanum, the leaves of king anthurium can grow very large. They are also lanceolate in shape, but display ridges instead of a white vein pattern. This anthurium likes a warm, humid climate and grows epiphytically in nature, which is why its roots prefer a very aerated substrate, such as orchid soil.

Flamingo flower with indented leaf pattern
The leaf veins of the king anthurium are not white but ridged [Photo: Bantam Studio/]

6. Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium, also known as the heart leaf plant, looks confusingly similar to Anthurium crystallinum. Both species have dark green, heart-shaped leaves that display a beautiful white vein pattern. However, the two species can be distinguished by the colour of their berries; each produces fruit on their flowering bulbs. Like most anthuriums, this species prefers a bright location, but not full sun, as this can cause the leaves to burn.

Flamingo flower with heart leaf shape and white vein pattern
Anthurium clarinervium flowers are subtle [Photo: Firn/]

7. Anthurium magnificum

Like the look of Anthurium clarienrvium and Anthurium crystallinum, but think they are a bit too small? Then Anthurium magnificum is the plant for you! The foliage of this species is similar to its two relatives, but the plant can grow much larger. In fact, it may need a support to grow up against.

8. Anthurium forgetii

Anthurium forgetii is not known for its coloured bracts, but for its small, round leaves that taper to a point. These green leaves are either patterned with white veins, or plain. In keeping with its tropical, epiphytic nature, Anthurium forgetii prefers high humidity and loose orchid soil.

Flamingo flower with rounded leaf shape and white veins
Anthurium forgetii is a small member of the flamingo flowers [Photo: Nelly Memosa/]

9. Anthurium vittarifolium

Anthurium vittarifolium has long, green leaves that hang from the plant like tails. This makes it ideal for a hanging basket. In its tropical home, Anthurium vittarifolium is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other plants and trees from which its leaves can then hang.

10. Anthurium metallicum

This anthurium has particularly dark green leaves, which are lightly veined and lance shaped. The leaves look similar to a knight’s shield, and hang down on the end of long stems. The plant can reach 40 to 50 cm tall, and grows hemi-epiphytically in South America. This means that it begins life perched on other plants and, as the roots grow, the plant touches the ground and uses it as an anchor. As such, growing the plant in orchid soil is good for growth, but not absolutely necessary.

11. Anthurium polyschistum

Anthurium polyschistum has a subtle flower and leaves that are plain and split. In fact, the leaves resemble hemp, which is why this plant is also called “false marijuana” or “faux marijuana”. Anthurium polyschistum climbs upwards and does not let its leaves hang. It needs humidity and indirect light, as well as moist, slightly acidic soil to thrive. The soil should not be too rich in nutrients. We recommend mixing sphagnum moss with a high-quality potting soil, such as our Plantura Organic Herb & Seedling Compost.

False marijuana divided leaf shape
Anthurium polyschistum with split, hemp-like leaves [Photo: Raining624/]

12. Anthurium luxurians

Another unusual species of anthurium is Anthurium luxurians. Its leathery, heart-shaped leaves have deep-ridges that make it look like the surface of a diamond. Sitting on the end of short stems, these leaves are usually very dark red or purple and tend to change with age, from dark red to dark green. Anthurium luxurians grows best in partial shade and well-drained soil. A mixture of well-draining potting soil, like Plantura Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, and orchid soil made from pine bark and Sphagnum moss is ideal.

Just like anthuriums, aloes are popular evergreen houseplants that come in a variety of shapes and colours. The sap of the Aloe vera also helps to soothe sunburn and other skin conditions. Read more about this wonderful plant in our article on Aloe vera.