I am on my way to Honolulu for a demonstration and workshops with the Garden Club of Honolulu. Since most often I work with Pennsylvania garden flowers I revel at the chance of working with some local anthurium and other tropical blooms. The latest look from Hitomi Gilliam and Green Point Nursery in Hilo, Hawaii, is “Neotropica” a blend of tropical and temperate flowers. This will be my inspiration for both the program and the workshop. A book on theses tropical flowers is available from flowersfromhawaii.biz

The anthurium was first found in Central America as an epiphyte but has been cultivated as a sturdy rooted plant. The plant has large, heart shaped leaves and the flowers are found on the spike, which is called the spadix. The showy colored part is actually a bract, not a flower.

Anthurium come in many shapes, colors, and sizes.  

Solid and multi colors: Red, orange, green, pink, brown, and purple

Shapes: Heart, Cupped, Veined, Ribbon, Mini

Purple tulip anthurium and an anthurium leaf begin a cascade of ficus roots and purple phalaenopsis orchid.

The same purple tulip anthurium combines in a Neotropica way with purple lisianthus, leucocoryn, and passion vine.  

Green Midori anthurium add color and textural contrast with pincushion protea in a low glass bowl. Orange Lucite rods support the blossoms and add interest with just a few orange gloriosa lilies.  

In minimal flower designs anthurium can give strong focal interest.  Here anthurium andreanum ‘Cinnamon’ sets off whale back leaves and orange Lucite forms.  Showy anthurium blooms make excellent flowers for flower show exhibits.


Here an an alocasia leaf shelters a mix of tropical and temperate flowers.  Alocasia and anthurium are both in the Araceas flamily and closely related.   The red anthurium peeks out from below.

Close up of mixed Neotropica arrangement.

Photograph by Rob Cardillo

Lots of fun to be had for me in Hawaii working with these beautiful flowers from Green Point Nursery. You can have them too. Just contact Green Point Nursery greenpointnursery.com. You will be love the varieties and be surprised at the reasonable prices and surprisingly low shipping costs.