Gardening with Georgia

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Sneak peek beneath a leaf

Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 11:52:29 AM


One leaf of Anthurium clavigerum.

I was prowling the rainforest the other day and saw an awesome leaf on Anthurium clavigerum. An epiphyte, this aroid possesses the largest leaf of any anthurium in Central America. With lobes so fanciful they appear to be separate leaflets, this single leaf can theoretically reach about seven feet across! As a big leaf fanatic, I have just found another desirable garden specimen.


The swollen areas supporting
the leaf blade allow the leaf to move.

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The underside of the leaf  looks like something fresh from Gold’s Gym with a muscular, heavy-duty joint that moves the leaf to collect more light. The joint, sometimes referred to as an organ, functions when potassium pulls water in and out of it.

I shot a message to Scott Hyndman, Fairchild’s nursery manager and an aroid fan, and asked if the joint is indeed a pulvinus. He says it is, but when found on an anthurium leaf, it usually is called geniculum. 

Plants can do the darndest things!


 

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