We’re really getting into this tropical winter vibe at FOTW: last week we were all-a-flutter over the bird of paradise plant, now we’re going pink-in-the-cheeks for the flamingo flower. Okay, so there are most definitely more colour varieties out there than the pretty pink of their namesake bird… but there’s no escaping the fact that these are plants to make you blush. There’s something super-sensual about the waxy, swooping, heart-shaped curves and vibrant spike-shaped inflorescence (called a spadix FYI), and that’s before we get to the fact that another common name for them is the tail flower…
Their proper name is anthurium, and it probably doesn’t come as any surprise to hear that they hail from the tropical regions of South America, thriving in warm and humid environments. Squint and you can almost see a machete-clad Indiana Jones-type wading through its blooms, cracking wise and biffing bad guys and generally offering a problematic white-man-savior narrative to a land of beautiful flora and fauna.
Maybe it’s because the nerds who came up with flower symbolism back in the day were more repressed than reprobates such as ourselves, but the traditional meaning of the anthurium is hospitality, due to the open, inviting nature of its heart-shaped flowers. That’s nice, isn’t it? Gives you a feeling inside almost as warm as the land from which the plants hail.
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