Anthurium Meaning & Symbolism: Ultimate Guide

Anthuriums can make an ideal tropical addition to your houseplant collection. These exotic flowers are more than just decorations, they also hold a deeper meaning.

Anthurium meaning stems from several cultural interpretations. Most of these perspectives associate the gorgeous flower with hospitality, happiness, abundance, and in some cases, romance.

Stick around to learn more about why anthuriums carry several meanings and how you can use them.

The Etymology of Anthurium

Anthuriums are also referred to as the Boy Flower, Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flower, Painter’s Palette, Cock’s Comb, Pigtail Plant, and Bull’s Head, due to their distinguishing physical traits.

Nevertheless, the heart-shaped flowers carry a Greek etymological background. Anthurium is split into a couple of Greek words, “oura” and “anthos,” which mean “tail” and “flower,” respectively.

The name Tail Flower comes from the tail-like appearance of the spadix, which is located at the center of the plant.

This spadix is actually where the flower of the anthurium is. If you look closely, you’ll notice dozens of tiny speckles of flowers. Meanwhile, the large surrounding petal is a leaf called a spathe.

What Do Anthurium Flowers Symbolize?

In the past, flowers held more value in communicating thoughts, emotions, and feelings, unlike in the present, where there are emojis and gifs.

The glossy flower was believed to bring good fortune and happiness while warding off any negative energy.

Anthurium flowers in a green house

Generally, anthurium flowers bring joy and hospitality to your home and make exceptional housewarming gifts. The eccentric-looking flowers may also add a bit of luxury to your home.

Apart from that, the flowers also signify beauty. They could make a stand-out bridal bouquet. You wouldn’t have to worry about any wilting. When cut, anthuriums can maintain their condition for months.

Speaking of blessed unions, anthurium flowers also heavily lean on the theme of romance and love. Since they’re also referred to as the Heart of Hawaii, anthuriums’ heart shape can’t help but make us feel the love.

In Feng Shui tradition, the exotic flowers are prescribed to those seeking good luck in their relationships. Greek mythology follows suit and considers anthurium flowers as cupid’s arrows, shooting love into people’s lives.

Moving on from love, anthuriums also symbolize a certain sensuality. Since it’s also named the Boy Flower and Painted Tongue, it’s difficult to deny its connection to lust and sexual desire.

What Do Anthuriums Symbolize Based on Their Color?

We now know that anthuriums hold the general meaning of hospitality and happiness, among other traits. That being so, different-colored anthurium flowers can have more specified symbolic characteristics.

Without further ado, here’s what anthurium flowers symbolize based on their color.

Pink Anthurium Flower

When you think of the color pink, you may picture something girly. Well, pink is commonly associated with femininity and womanhood. They represent compassion and empathy.

We recommend gifting pink anthurium flowers to your mother on a special occasion such as her birthday or Mother’s Day. Alternatively, you may also give them to a woman who has given birth to showcase new motherly love.

Pink is also a neutral color, so if you want to gift anthuriums to anyone, we recommend reaching for the pink ones.

Red Anthurium Flower

When you look at a red anthurium flower, you may first see a heart. When turned sideways, you could also notice that it looks like red kissing lips.

Having said that, the main idea behind red anthurium flowers is passion, intensity, lust, sensuality, and love. They’ll make perfect gifts for your significant other, especially on a special event like Valentine’s Day or your anniversary.

White Anthurium Flower

White holds numerous meanings in life. It can represent purity, light, virginity, innocence, good, cleanliness, and so on. White anthurium flowers hold similar ideas.

Close up picture of White Anthurium Flower used in article titled Anthurium Meaning

The crisp white spathes of the flower would match exceptionally well with a wedding gown. You can make them into a bridal bouquet or add them to your wedding tables as a lovely centerpiece.

Green Anthurium Flower

The color green is popularly linked to nature. Green anthuriums flowers may portray growth, hope, and strength.

The green flowers are versatile gifts since they’re neutrally colored. We suggest giving them to someone who overcame great obstacles and is seeking to release stress such as a graduating friend.

Purple Anthurium Flower

Purple is often synonymous with spirituality and royalty. Purple anthuriums are one of a kind. You can gift them to people you hold in high regard such as a friend who has been given a promotion.

Purple anthuriums may also represent creativity, power, and wealth. If you’re trying to amp up a luxurious feel to your home, these purple flowers would be the best choice.

Uses of Anthurium Flowers

Anthurium flowers have multiple uses both in the past and present. The past uses of anthurium were mainly for medicinal purposes.

In 1992, the flower was steamed and used to treat discomfort caused by arthritis and rheumatism. The steam opens your pores so the essence reaches into your body. The spathes were cut and covered on areas of muscle pain and cramps for relief.

That being said, you need to be wary of using anthurium flowers for medicinal purposes. The plant is composed of calcium oxalate crystals. This material can cause skin rashes if handled incorrectly.

Apart from anthurium’s medical application, the flower is commonly used for ornamental purposes. The South American native flower can be included in a fruit bowl at a gathering. You may also add it to the flower collection in your vase for an exotic twist.

Their presence in your home is an instant mood booster. The American Horticultural Therapy Association believes that anthuriums can help you get in the right state of mind to achieve your goals.

According to NASA’s clean air study list, anthuriums can cleanse the air from harmful chemicals such as ammonia, xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene.

Anthurium flowers also make for special gifts for several occasions. You can communicate your appreciation, devotion, love, or happiness by gifting these tropical flowers. Whether it’s a celebration of love, friendship, or family, the flowers are bound to put a smile on their recipient’s face.

How to Care for Anthurium Flowers

If you’re thinking of purchasing an anthurium flower, you may want to read our quick care guide to see what you’re signing up for.


Anthuriums are best kept in an area with indirect lighting. Too much sun exposure can potentially scorch the gentle spathes. With sufficient lighting, you can witness some gorgeous blooms from your anthurium flower.


When it comes to watering your anthurium flowers, you want to keep the soil moist. If you stick your finger halfway in the pot and feel a lack of dampness, then it’s time to water them.

Anthurium flower close up

You’ll know when to stop when you see water trickling down in the drainage holes. Just be sure to pour out the excess water to avoid overwatering the anthurium.

Humidity and Temperature

As an equatorial plant, anthuriums crave humidity and sweltering weather conditions. One of the best ways to provide the ideal environment for your anthurium is by purchasing a humidifier. The tool will be especially crucial during the wintry dry months.

Temperature-wise, you want to keep the flowers within a 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit setting. Try to keep the plant far from any air conditioner or fan.

Wrap Up On Anthurium Meaning

Anthurium meaning comes from several cultures, mainly originating from South America. The flowers are thought to present hospitality, happiness, and abundance.

The unusual-looking flower has lots of colors with their respective meaning. Red anthuriums give off romantic vibes. On the other hand, green variations represent a more neutral tone.

Having said that, anthuriums mainly serve as ornamental and decorative pieces for your house. The flower display is bound to turn a few heads.

The guests will surely ask you about the bizarre-looking plant on the corner. We’re sure you’ll be able to tell them all about it after reading our guide.

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