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 New: Understanding, pronouncing and using Botanical terminology, a Glossary


Anthurium angamarcanum Sodiro
Synonym: Anthurium marmoratum
Anthurium angamarcanum Sodiro 1901
Synonym: Anthurium marmoratum


This page is a part of a private study with the assistance and supervision of aroid botanist Dr. Dr. Thomas B. Croat Ph.D., P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO.  Dr. Croat's current determination is Anthurium angamarcanum is the species and A. marmoratum is the same plant using a different name assigned by botanist Luis Sodiro.  However, he is now open to the suggestion that other species may be involved in this group.  This study is being done with Dr. Croat's supervision in an effort to reach an ultimate determination if all specimens known as Anthurium marmoratum (now considered to be a synonym of Anthurium angamarcanum) are truly Anthurium angamarcanum or if new an undescribed species still exist.   Simply, are there other unidentified species yet to be described?  Those that are participating hope to learn if there are other yet-to-be named species within this aroid group.
In addition to the photos being loaned by advanced collectors there is a group of photos of plants sometimes being sold by Ecuagenera in Ecuador which can be found via this link:   Ecuagenera Plants.    Although some of those may be the species, others appear to have no direct relationship to this group.  Part of the goal of this page is to try, with Dr. Croat's help, to learn what those plant species may truly be.  If you are unfamiliar with the standard methodology of classifying and describing any Anthurium species please refer to Dr. Croat's paper on the International Aroid Society website entitled the Standardization of Anthurium Descriptions:
Anthurium angamarcanum as well as Anthurium marmoratum are a members of Anthurium section Cardiolonchium and possess blades that are velutinous (velvety) in appearance.  A velutinous blade surface is covered with fine, dense silky pubescence (hair).  The blades of the species are also pendent or elongated in shape, however there are specimens using the name that possess a variety of shaped including cordate (heart shaped) blades and those cordate specimens are highly likely to be a species yet unnamed.
To make identifications even more complicated juvenile specimens do not look like adult specimens and the natural variation found within Araceae (aroids) allows a variety of leaf shapes to develop once a specimen matures.   The juvenile form of Anthurium angamarcanum and Anthurium marmoratum appear the same.  On the evening of February 18, 2009 I received this note from Dr. Croat, "Last night I worked with the types of A. angamarcanum and A. marmoratum.  Although the types look identical Sodiro gave decent characters for their separation. I suppose that if the characters he used really are true they could be distinct. At least the one from Angamarca may be extinct because there is no forest left in that area. It now appears that this terrestrial species with the broadly ovate blade and free basal veins must be new. I have made some very preliminary notes."  
Since the blades and characteristics of some specimens vary greatly in appearance this page includes photos of a variety of collector's plants in order to illustrate the leaf variations within this group of species.   Some plants illustrated here are obviously not the scientific species Anthurium angamarcanum!
Dr. Croat has observed primarily the terrestrial form of Anthurium angamarcanum in Colombia, in northern Ecuador near the border with Colombia as well as in a variety of areas within Ecuador including along the northern border with Colombia, eastern, south central and near the southern border with Peru.
The photos below of our own juvenile specimen possesses blades approximately 12 inches (30cm) long.  The petioles of our specimen are terete (round) and do not appear to be either sulcate nor striate as is indicated in Dr. Croat's published field notes.  Sulcate is to possess a canal on the adaxial surface or fine parallel grooves.  As a result, this may or may not be the species as described.   However, aroid expert Leland Miyano made this observation, "The petioles on all the things we are discussing are terete as terete can be. I would not take that as a good character at this point as the leaves are no way close to mature size. This will probably can post that as a caveat for now."  Juvenile Anthurium species rarely appear the same as an adult specimen and the absence of a sulcate (grooved or "C" shaped) petiole is likely due to the juvenile state of the specimen.

Anthurium angamarcanum is largely found within Ecuador and was originally described in 1901 by Luis Sodiro.  Sodiro was a Jesuit priest serving in Ecuador who became one of the most important aroid botanists in the history of aroid species since he described many tropical aroid species.  He described Anthurium marmoratum in 1903 and worked in Ecuador from 1870 to 1909 describing a total of 281 taxa of Ecuadorian Araceae, largely Anthurium species.  He was the first botanist specializing in aroids to be considered a field botanist and spent most of his career in the Ecuadorian tropics.  Born in Italy in 1836, Sodiro served in Ecuador until the time of his death. 

Unknown to early botanists numerous Anthurium sp. frequently have variations in their appearance.  In addition, numerous botanical records have pointed out confusing information in Sodiro's notes since he gave different names to several Anthurium specimens which have since proven to be a single species.  Aroids are variable in appearance so if you are not aware of the natural variation within aroids please read this page.

An aroid, all Anthurium species reproduce via the production of an inflorescence and that inflorescence is supported by a stalk known as the peduncle.  When an Anthurium is "in flower" the reference is to the tiny male, female, and sterile male flowers that grow on the spadix at the center of the inflorescence. The spathe of an aroid is not a "flower" but instead is a modified leaf. The spadix at its center of the inflorescence vaguely resembles an elongated pine cone.  The spadix is a spike on a thickened fleshy axis which can produce tiny flowers.  When at sexual anthesis, once the female flowers on the spadix are ready to reproduce they must be pollinated by an insect which is normally a beetle that is a member of the genus Cyclocephala.  That insect transfers pollen from another specimen of the same species currently at male anthesis to a specimen that is at female anthesis and now receptive.  A link to information from aroid expert Julius Boos can be found at the end of this paragraph should you wish to learn how aroids are pollinated in nature.  If pollinated the female flowers will produce berries containing seeds.   The berries are then eaten by birds and other rain forest animals that spread them among the forest in their droppings.  Aroid pollination

At present Dr. Croat appears to believe our specimen (shown below) as well as one in the collection of Dr. Ron Kaufmann in San Diego, CA  may be a new species which he is currently calling Anthurium marmoratum until a final determination can be made.  The story of that possible determination is told here:  Anthurium marmoratum.    Our specimen is still in the juvenile stages and no final determination is possible at this time.  Dr. Kaufmann provided this comment regarding this group of plants:  "There seem to be two distinctly different species that have been called A. angamarcanum and A. marmoratum by growers. I don't know how either of those names relates to the two species that Sodiro described in the early 1900's. For simplicity/consistency, I'm referring them as A. angamarcanum and A. marmoratum, as you have on your page. I have photos on my web site of mature plants of both species. Go to and click on the appropriate names on the left-hand navigation menu. In particular, pay attention to the nature of the roots and the inflorescences, which differ distinctly between the two species"

If you have photos of either Anthurium angamarcanum and/or Anthurium marmoratum you will be willing to share with us for this study please email them in as high resolution as possible to  Please include as much detail of the leaf blades, veins, petioles, cataphylls, stem, and inflorescence as possible.  Photos of these species taken in either Colombia or Ecuador are very valuable and much appreciated but please be sure and include the location where the photos were taken.  You will be credited for any photo used.


A synopsis of Dr. Tom Croat's published field notes on Anthurium angamarcanum from TROPICOS  
The specimens in his notes were observed in southern Colombia and 5 locations around Ecuador:

Anthurium angamarcanum grows as a hemiepiphyte, terrestrial or an appressed epiphytic species.   Both hemiepiphytes and epiphytic species are found growing on trees while appressed indicates the plant is growing pressed tightly to the host.  

The petioles that support each leaf blade are dark green while reddish at the base and almost matte as well as obtusely to conspicuously sulcate.  Sulcate is defined as either to have a sulcus (canal) or tiny parallel grooves running along the axis.  The petioles are matte and conspicuously striated as well as flattened adaxially (on the upper surface).  Striation indicates parallel lines running along the petiole. The petiole may also be weakly sulcate medially, or in the center.  The petioles can be either flattened adaxially (on the upper surface) or terete (round). 

Despite common misconceptions the petiole is not the "stem", a term commonly incorrectly used by collectors. The petiole is the stalk which connects the leaf blade to the stem which is at the base of the plant.  In botanical science the stem is the "cane" at the base of the plant and the petioles with their new leaves grow from the nodes along the stem.  Between each node is a segment known as an internode.  The roots of Anthurium species also emerge from the stem.  The internodes along the stem of Anthurium angamarcanum are short measuring from 1 to 6 cm in length as well as .6 to 4 cm in diameter. The internodes are pale green to light brown in color as well as weakly glossy. 

The geniculum of Anthurium angamarcanum at the top of the petiole is narrowly sulcate.  The geniculum is found at the top of the petiole and allows the leaf blade to rotate and orient itself to find a brighter source of light.   The geniculum looks and works something like an elbow.  Just like your elbow allows you to bend and rotate your arm, the geniculum allows the leaf of an Anthurium to rotate itself up, down or from side to side in order to better collect light.   The geniculum may be swollen and obvious in some species but barely noticeable except to the touch in others.   It is not uncommon for the geniculum to have scarring from age.

The cataphylls are pinkish tinged turning brown with pale fibers exposed at the base and are persistent remaining semi-intact once dried with pale fibers but eventually become deciduous and fall from the plant.  A cataphyll is a bract- like modified leaf that surrounds any new leaf and whose purpose is to protect the emerging leaves as they develop. 

As described, Anthurium angamarcanum like Anthurium marmoratum must possess long blades ca. 2.3 to 2.6 times longer than broad.  The leaf blades of Anthurium angamarcanum are subcoriaceous (less than leathery to the touch) and dark green as well as velvety adaxially (above).  The blade is paler and weakly glossy to matte abaxially (below).   The midrib is acute (gradually tapering to a point) and slightly paler above as well as convex and sharply three ribbed below.  The primary lateral veins are both raised and acute on both sides.   The tertiary or minor veins are partially sunken above but raised below.

The inflorescence of Anthurium angamarcanum is erect with the spathe green in color.  The blade is spreading-reflexed (turning backwards) while the spadix is medium to dark green to reddish purple and weakly glossy in sheen.  The fruit is green.

My thanks to Leland Miyano, Dr. Ron Kaufmann, and Dr. Croat for their input.

When viewing the photos below please refer to the assigned accession number followed by a letter to understand what you are viewing.  The initials are those of the photo provider while the letter indicates the location or appropriate part of the plant.    A= Habit, B= petiole, C= cataphyll, D= stem, E= leaf, F= venation, G= inflorescence


Specimen LM0001  This specimen of Anthurium angamarcanum is in the collection of Leland Miyano in Hawaii and is grown terrestrially.  The blade measures approximately 2 feet (60 cm).





Specimen RK0002 This specimen is in the collection of Dr. Mardy Darian and was photographed by Dr. Ron Kaufmann.



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