Anthurium andraeanum is a tropical evergreen perennial belonging to the Araceae family.
It goes by several common names, including Flamingo lily, Laceleaf, Tailflower, Flamingo Flower, and Little Boy Plant.
Arguably the most suitable of its nicknames is Painter's Palette. This is due to its glossy, usually red, heart-shaped modified leaf or bract that looks remarkably like a palette.
Flamingo-Flower (Anthurium andraeanum) photograph by Jim, the Photographer.
This plant grows 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) in height, has a bushy habit, and features a flowering yellow spike or spadix, which projects vertically from the base of the bract.
The surrounding evergreen foliage, also heart-shaped, is dark green, providing a distinctive contrast to the bract.
This plant is native to the rainforests of Columbia and Ecuador and thrives in USDA zones 10 to 12.
As Anthurium andraeanum is a tropical plant it is usually grown as a houseplant outside of the tropics.
In the UK and Europe, it is rated as hardiness H1a, and will therefore struggle to survive if temperatures drop below 59°F (15°C).
Elsewhere, it makes a colorful, vivacious houseplant and, in part, because the flower lasts six to eight weeks, it is a popular choice for cut flower arrangements.
Painter's palette has multiple cultivars with bracts in a variety of colors, including purples, pinks, oranges, whites, variegated options, and in a striking black.
As an indoor plant, gardeners can best promote year-round blooms by imitating the natural environment in which Anthurium andraeanum grows.
They prefer a humid environment at 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (18°C to 32) and bright, diffused sunlight, preferably near a window facing east.
Plant them in an acidic, well-drained, peat potting mix and feed them regularly from spring and through to the end of summer.
Effort should be made to keep the potting mix consistently moist.
Gardeners who live in tropical climate zones and choose to plant them outdoors should care for them in a manner similar to described above.
Sow out into a moist humus rich soil using ripe seed as soon as it is available. Alternatively, divisions can be taken in the winter months.
Anthurium andraeanum require partial sunlight for best results. Supply a regular moderate watering if growing in warmer areas that are not subject to tropical rains.
Spray with soapy water to help remove unwanted mealybugs and insects, and be on the lookout for leafspot.