We are thrilled that our “Madame Pele” Obake Anthurium won Best in Show at this year’s Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair. This beautiful flower takes it’s name from the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Pele is said to live in the fire pit of Kilauea crater, in one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Just take a look at the brilliant reds in the center of this flower and you’ll quickly see why it got it’s name. The judges were impressed with the brilliant coloring and also the size of the spathe (heart-shaped colored part of the flower) which is over 14 inches long!
Anthuriums are native to Columbia but were brought to Hawaii in the late 1800′s from England and growers here then started to propagate them. The result is hundreds of unusual variegated varieties of “Obake” anthuriums. In the Japanese language “Obake” means “ghost” or “something that changes”. Propagation of new varieties continues to this day including at The University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture on the Big Island of Hawaii, which introduces many of today’s new varieties.
Here at Kalani Tropicals we have a particular fondness for Obakes and one of our shade houses is entirely dedicated to our Obake plants. Two absolute requirements for growing anthuriums successfully are shade and water. Some of our favorite varieties are “Mauna Loa”, “Anuenue”, “Kalapana”, “Rainbow”, and “Oshiro Red”.