In Japanese, the word obake means “a thing that changes” and it can also be translated as “ghost”. Obake anthurium flowers (which are sometimes miss-spelled obaki) could easily have received their name from either translation. They usually come in a mix of colors, so it is easy to see that their coloration could be “a thing that changes.” In addition, they are large flowers with a wavy surface, which gives them an otherworldly or ghostly feel. Here are some of my favorite types of obake anthuriums.
Tropic Sunrise is a very popular orange obake anthurium. It is a large flower with an orange center, surrounded by green edges, which was developed by the University of Hawaii. H. Kanemoto created it by crossing an Anuenue with a Soga Orange Obake back in 1981.
Mauna Loa is a stunning white obake anthurium flower. It possesses a white core with a green perimeter. Mauna Loa was created from an open pollinated Tropic Ice, which means that we don’t know which variety supplied the pollen to produce this strain. In addition, it has an outstanding 56 day vase life if placed in water immediately after harvest.
Other beautiful white obake varieties include Tropic Ice, Pearl and Rainbow Obake. The Rainbow Obake is particularly beautiful, because instead of having only two colors, it has three colors. It is white in the center, has green edges and it has pink veins. Pink obake varieties include the Anuenue Obake, Kimi Obake and Watermelo Obake.
Red Obake Varieties
There are a number of red obake varieties, most have a red core surrounded by green edges. They include the Kalapana Obake, Charade Obake, Madame Pele and the Oshiro Red Obake. The Kalapana is named after a region in Hawaii that was known for having a beautiful black sand beach that was covered by a lava flow from Kilauea Volcano, which according to Hawaiian legends is the home of volcano goddess Pele, whom the Madame Pele Obake is named after.
Buying Obake Anthuriums
When you are looking to buy flowers or obake anthurium plants be prepared to pay more. These flowers are much larger and much showier than standard varieties and they are also much rarer, so naturally they are going to cost more. So if they are more expensive, don’t be alarmed. However, you will get good value for you money as these flowers look amazing and come in some very special color combinations.
If you plan on buying obake plants, just make sure you know what you are doing when it comes to anthurium care. Obake anthuriums are harder to grow than other varieties. Their large flowers and leaves make them more vulnerable to pests, diseases and the elements.