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Family Aracaceae
Anthurium
Anthurium andraeanum Linden ex Andre
FLAMINGO LILY

Scientific names Common names
Anthurium andraeanum Linden ex Andre Anturium (Tag.)
Anthurium venustum Sodiro Anturio (Engl.)
  Anthurium ( Engl.)
  Flamingo flower (Engl.)
  Flamingo lily (Engl.)
  Laceleaf (Engl.)
  Laquer anthurium (Engl.)
  Oilcloth flower (Engl.)
  Painter's palette (Engl.)
  Tall flower (Engl.)
Anthurium andraeanum Linden ex André is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
DUTCH: Lakanthurium.
GERMAN: Grosse flamingblume.
JAPANESE: O-beni-uchiwa.
MALAY: Bunga hati.
VIETNAMESE: Hong mon.


General info
- Anthurium is the national flower of Mauritius. It ranks ninth in the global flower trade. (4)
- Anthurium is second, only to orchid, among tropical cut flowers. It is a member of the family Araceae which consists of 108 genera and approximately 3750 monocotyledonous species. (6)

Botany
Anthurium is an evergreen perennial plant that can grown to a meter in height. Leaves are large, dark, glossy, oblong or heart-shaped, up to 30 centimeters in length. Each leaf is held on a 30 to 60 centimeter petiole. Flowers are slender, finger-like or tail like spadix above a shiny, waxy, crinkled, heart-shaped spathe, red to bright orange.

Distribution
- Introduced.
- Ornamental cultivation.
- Grows well in the Baguio area.

- Popular pot or cut flower because of its longevity.

Constituents
- Study of various plant parts for phytoconstituents yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, phlobatnnins, steroids, and tannins. (see study below) (8)

Toxicity concerns
- Whole plant, especially the sap, yields calcium oxalate crystals. Also contains proteolytic enzymes that can induce histamine release and cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. (2)
- Leaves and stems contain minute, sharp crystals, or raphides of calcium oxalate that can cause swelling and burning of the lips, mouth, and throat, and sometimes, difficulty swallowing and breathing. The calcium oxalate crystals can also cause irritation of the skin and eyes. (2)
- Occasional reports of intense eye and skin itching when in close proximity, without actual contact, raising the possibility of airborne allergens.

Properties
- Plant components known to cause allergic reactions.
- Considered antimicrobial, air-filtering.

Parts used
Flowers, leaves.

Uses

Folkloric
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Elsewhere, flower ash reportedly used to treat boils.
- Crushed leaves rubbed on caterpillar sores.
- In China, reportedly used for rheumatic pains.


Studies
Air-Filtering:
In the NASA Clean Air Study, Anthurium adraeanum is in the list of indoor plants that may remove toxic agents from the air, helping neutralize the effects of sick building syndrome. As an air-filtering plant, anthurium removes formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene. (1)
Formaldehyde Removal: Anthurium andraeanum was in the top 15% of 40 woody and herbaceous foliage plants tested for formaldehyde removal. (5)
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the phytochemical constituents and antimicrobial activity of different solvent extracts of flowers, leaf, stem, and roots of A. andraeanum. The extracts sowed inhibitory activity against tested pathogens, with significant inhibition of gram negative bacterial strains of E. coli and K. pneumonia and fungal pathogen A. fumigatus. Flower extract showed superior zone of inhibition against A. fumigatus and E. coli. (8)
• Anticancer Compounds: Study of A. andraeanum isolated a purified bioactive compound that was found to be effective against test cell lines (HepG2, A549, and MCF7). Gas chromatography and mass spectrophotometer analysis revealed the presence of anticancer compounds such as 2,3-dihydro-benzofuran and stimasta-5,20(22)-dien-3-ol. (9)

Management of Oxalate Poisoning
Symptoms:
Ingestion can cause painful irritation and blistering of the mouth and throat, hoarseness and dysphagia.
Prehospital Care:
Decontaminate mouth, eye, and skin by physically removing all plant material. Treat eye and skin exposure with copious water irrigation. (3)
Emergency Department Care: Remove any plant material from the oral cavity. If airway compromise is ruled out, patient may be allowed to drink cold liquids, eat crushed ice, or frozen desserts for relief. Oral swishing of diphenhydramine elixir may provide anesthetic and antihistamine effects. Laryngeal edema should be treated with antihistamines. No data supports the use of steroids for laryngeal edema caused by oxalate-containing plants. (3)

Note: Anthurium andraeanum's air-filtering property seems to be negated by the risk of calcium oxalate exposure.

Availability
- Cultivated.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.


Updated June 2017 / August 2015


IMAGE SOURCE: /Photo / Red anthurium in the garden of the Folio house in Salazie / Christophe EYQUEM / 11.11.2007 / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License / click on photo to see source image / FreeImages

Photo / Flower & Leaf © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
NASA Clean Air Study / Wikipedia
(2)
Anthurium andraeanum / GLOBinMED
(3)
Oxalate Poisoning Treatment & Management / Jason F Kearney, MD; Chief Editor: Asim Tarabar, MD / Medscape
(4)
VARIETAL STUDY OF ANTHURIUM (ANTHURIUM ANDRAEANUM) AS A CUT FLOWER IN BANGLADESH / M.S. ISLAM, H. MEHRAJ, M.Z.K. RONI, S. SHAHRIN AND A.F.M. JAMAL UDDIN* / Journal of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Vol. 37, No. 1, 103-107, 2013
(5)
Variation in Formaldehyde Removal Efficiency among Indoor Plant Species / Kwang Jin Kim, Myeong Il Jeong, Dong Woo Lee, Jeong Seob Song, Hyoung Deug Kim, Eun Ha Yoo, Sun Jin Jeong, and Seung Won Han / HORTSCIENCE 45(10):1489–1495. 2010.
(6)
Micropropagation of Anthurium andraeanum from Shoot Tip Explants
/ Eglal M. Harb, Neveen B. Talaat, Bothaina M. Weheeda, Mamdouh A. El-Shamy and Gamal A. Omira / Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 6(8): 927-931, 2010
(7)
Anthurium andraeanum / Synonyms / The Plant List
(8)
Phytochemical Screening and In vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Ornamental Plant Anthurium andraeanum / J.R. Abima shazhni, A. Renu and M. Murugan* / J. Pharm. Sci. & Res. Vol. 8(7), 2016, 668-670
(9)
Phytochemicals of Anthurium andraeanum and its Pharmacological Applications / Shazhni, J R Abima; Renu, A. / Asian Journal of Chemistry; Ghaziabad29.2 (2017): 357-361.

(10)

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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