CTAHR-developed anthurium wins accolades in national competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dr. Teresita Amore, (808) 956-7992
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Posted: Dec 17, 2008

HONOLULU — "Mauna Loa," an anthurium developed by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at UH Mānoa, has won a Red Ribbon in the Society of American Florists‘ (SAF) 2008 Outstanding Varieties Competition. The anthurium was entered into the "Other Cut Flowers" category by Hilo-based Green Point Nurseries, one of the state‘s largest cut flower producers.

Year-round production of glossy spathes and outstanding vase life are the major attributes of "Mauna Loa." The obake, or multicolored, anthurium has a medium to large spathe and is often over 10 inches long with a white center and green perimeter. Its stem has an average length of 26 inches. "Mauna Loa" can potentially yield about 6 flowers per stem per year, which is considered high for a white obake. Other attributes include resistance to anthracnose, tolerance of bacterial blight, and ease of micropropagation.

"Mauna Loa" was developed by the team of Heidi Kuehnle, Haruyuki Kamemoto, Tessie Amore, John Kunisaki, Joanne Lichty and Janice Uchida. It originated in 1987 from "Tropic Ice," a small white obake previously released by the college. Kamemoto is credited for establishing UH‘s anthurium research program in 1950 to develop disease resistant and novel anthuriums for the flower industry. This highly successful program, presently headed up by CTAHR horticulturist Kuehnle, has released more than 40 new commercial varieties since 1963, which helped anthuriums become the state‘s most valuable cut-flower crop. Cut anthuriums had a farm-gate value of nearly $5 million in 2007.

"Mauna Loa" joins the ranks of six other CTAHR anthurium varieties that have received ribbons from the SAF since 2004. Receiving Blue Ribbons were "Tropic Sunrise" (2007) and "Lavender Lady" (2004). Other UH varieties receiving ribbons in recent years are "Tropic Fire" (Red Ribbon, 2004), "Kalapana" (Red Ribbon, 2005), and "Hokuloa" (Red Ribbon, 2007).

To download a fact sheet on "Mauna Loa," go to http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/NPH-A-2.pdf.