If you are looking for a step by step guide to breeding anthuriums, this book isn’t for you. It does give a brief summary of the steps involved in pollinating anthuriums and germinating the resulting seeds, but I feel that it assumes that the reader already understands how to do this and also knows how to raise and care for anthuriums. It also discusses micro-propagation, e.g. tissue culture, and genetic engineering, but this is probably beyond the scope of most enthusiasts.
But if you are looking for background on: Hawaii’s anthurium industry, the major anthurium species, the origins of many of today’s best cultivars, and the inheritance of color traits, this is the book for you. And if you like pictures of anthuriums, this book has a lot of full color pictures of many different varieties of anthuriums.
This book starts out by providing an overview on the major groupings of anthurium species. Then it covers the relationships between species. It gives a partial indication of which species can be interbred and which species the authors were unable to cross. It has a large table with the chromosome counts of various species, which can be helpful when selecting species to crossbreed.
It also describes some of the interspecific hybrids that the authors were able to successfully create and it also provides pictures and descriptions of these hybrids. This is a good starting point if you are thinking of producing your own hybrids.
There’s a chapter on the inheritance of color. If you cross a red and a white, you would think that you’d get pink, but this is not always the case. Sometimes you get orange. Who would expect that? This chapter goes on to cover many of the crosses between the five major color groups.
This book also covers breeding of standards, obake and potted as opposed to cut flower cultivars. It even has a section on novelties and oddities. Did you know that there’s a very unusual novelty named “satan”? It is one of the most unusual looking anthuriums that I’ve ever seen.
This book was written by Professor Haruyuki Kamemoto and Adelheid Kuehnle. Professor Kamemoto is emeritus professor of horticulture at the University of Hawaii and he is one of the founding fathers of the anthurium industry in Hawaii. He started the U.H.’s anthurium program in 1950 and has been developing new varieties of anthuriums for more than fifty years. He has also done amazing things for Hawaii’s orchid industry, too. Talk about a talented guy.
If you buy it directly from Amazon, this book costs over $30. But if you are lucky like I was, you may be able to find a new copy selling for less than $10 from one of the other vendors in the Amazon store.