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Anthurium forgetii N.E. Br.

Anthurium forgetii N.E. Br. Anthurium forgetii, Photo Copyright 2008, Enid Offolter

Anthurium forgetii N.E. Br.

Described to horticulture in 1906, there is virtually no scientific information available about this plant.  The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) which is a service of the Royal Botanic Garden Kew in London does not even recognize the name as a valid species.  Apparently the plant was a horticultural specimen and very little information about its collection in nature is even known.  As a result, I am uncertain whether or not to even use italics for the name.
Anthurium forgetii is said to be found only in the South American country of Colombia.   Anthurium forgetii is notable due to the lack of a sinus opening at the top of the leaf blade.  The majority of Anthurium species have an opening between the upper lobes known as the sinus.  The species Anthurium forgetii lacks either lobes or such an opening.  As a result, a word of caution regarding images found on sites such as Google Image Anthurium forgetii N.E. Br. Anthurium forgetii, Photo Copyright 2008, Enid OffolterSearch, Yahoo and MSN.  Many photos claiming to illustrate Anthurium forgetii show plants that possess a sinus at the top of the blade.  According to scientific sources,  Anthurium forgetii has no sinus.  Try a photo search for yourself and see what photos are displayed.
The leaves of Anthurium forgetii are ovate (oval) and the blades are scientifically described as glaucous (shiny).  The blades possess a velutinous (velvet) appearance and are dark green with very prominent white venation (markings) marking the leave's veins.  The adaxial surface (upper) has glistening flecks especially just above the center of the leaf blade.  The underside of the adult leaf is a lighter green than the upper surface and is semi-glossy.  
The petioles (commonly called stems) which support each leaf blade are subterete (less than round) and are sometimes slightly flattened. 
Some collectors confuse Anthurium forgetii with Anthurium crystallinum.  Aroid expert Julius Boos explains the differences when he wrote regarding Anthurium forgetii, "It has a completely closed or absent sinus.  You say that A. crystallinum has a closed sinus divided all the way down to the petiole. This would mean the two posterior lobes touch each other.  But there is a slit all the way down from the top of the posterior lobes down to the petiole.  It would not be a sealed or absent sinus like as A. forgetii."   
An aroid, all Anthurium species reproduce via the production an inflorescence composed of a spathe and a spadix.  The stalk that supports the entire inflorescence is the peduncle. When an Anthurium is "in flower" the reference is to the tiny flowers containing both male and female sexual parts that grow on the spadix at the center of the inflorescence.  Unlike plants in the genus Philodendron which contain imperfect flowers having only a single sex Anthurium possess perfect flowers containing both sexes.  To help prevent self pollination nature has designed the female flowers to be receptive before the male portion of the flower produce their pollen so in most cases an insect must bring pollen from another plant.
Most people believe the spathe is a "flower" which is incorrect. The spathe is a modified leaf whose purpose is to protect the spadix at the center of the inflorescence.  On the spadix there can be found those very tiny flowers when the plant is ready to be pollinated and is at female anthesis (sexual reproduction).   If the female portion of flowers are pollinated by an appropriate insect (normally a beetle) which carries pollen from another specimen at male anthesis, the spadix will begin to grow berries.  The berries produced on the spadix are dark purple and inside the berries can be found 1 to 2 seeds.
The inflorescence of Anthurium forgetii stands erect and the spathe is glossy on both sides and is green in Anthurium forgetii N.E. Br. Anthurium forgeti juvenilei, Photo Copyright 2008, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comcolor.  The spathe may also have purple along the edge.  The spadix is light green to yellow green in color but may turn reddish with age. 
Like all Anthurium species, Anthurium forgetii morphs as it grows.  The juvenile leaf blades often look little like the adult blades seen in our photographs.  A juvenile leaf can be seen in the photo at the right.  Morphogenesis within aroid species is explained in non-technical language in this link.  Click here.

Enid Offolter's photos are courtesy Natural Selections Exotics,


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