My sister gave my mom a plant a couple of years ago, an Antherium. You know, the one with the heart shaped flower. We had it on the kitchen counter under the skylight and it thrived. It bloomed repeatedly until my mom died.
One Of The Most Satisfying Flowering Plants
I don’t know if you’ve grown Antheriums. Although our plant only produced one flower at a time, it has the longest living flower I’d ever seen.
It could take a couple of weeks from when the the red petal curled up at the base is first spotted to when it unfurls into a full blown blossom. Then, it will live in all it’s glory for a couple of months.
Our plant never left us without flowers. That one flower would hold out until another one budded. It would slowly die off until the next bloom was ready. It never had two at a time, but it was never without a flower.
It All Ended When My Mom Died
When my mom took to her bed, the plant had already had a flower for several weeks. My mom died September 1st, 2019. About two weeks after, the flower died too.
Then, nothing. No reserve waiting on the bench as back up. It stopped blooming.
I do have a reputation as a plant killer. I swear I didn’t change anything! I left it under the skylight. I watered it as normal. It’s pretty low maintenance, so there wasn’t much room for error.
Summer leaned into fall and fall into winter. While the leaves were lush and green, it didn’t produce any flowers. I thought perhaps the gloominess of our wet, rainy winter caused a damper on flower production. Maybe there wasn’t enough sunlight coming through that skylight.
It might have been the fact that I kept the house at 66-67 degrees instead of the 754 and upwards that my mom loved. She was always cold.
Winter turned into spring, the sunshine was spotty and the house was warmer. Still, nothing. It appeared that this Antherium was over its blossoming days.
The Night I Prepared To Move I Got A Surprise
Though the plant hadn’t flowered in 8 months, I still checked it every couple of days. You never know, right?
Several times I thought I saw a little bit of red only to see that it was one of the old brown stubs catching the light. I was disappointed when a new stem turned out to be another leaf. Yawn.
The night before I moved, after washing dishes and setting out to pack the last of the glasses, I took another peek. There deep inside the stems was a red flower just being born.
Eight months passed by without a single flower. But, the night I prepared to move back into my childhood home, one bloomed. Coincidence?
I’m not a religious person, but it made me think of my mom. Who knows why it decided to bloom at this time. Maybe the house was just the right temperature or the clouds were letting some life breathing rays in through the skylight. Maybe my mom’s spirit was giving a nod of approval from wherever it may be out there in the ether.
Whatever it was, I made sure I brought that plant with me. It sits on a little table by the back sliding door. I have been watching the little red curl as it made its slow climb among the leaves.
The Antherium Sits Happily Reaching Out To The Sunlight
That red flower will live like all the others for a couple of months. Then, the yellow part will begin to shed and the heart shaped petal will wither.
And, fingers crossed, just as that one dies away another will be reborn. The cycle will continue.
A new beginning. Again. And, little bit of hope coming from nature.
While preparing this, I did a little research on Antheriums. Did you know that they red “flower” really isn’t a flower at all. It’s a waxy leaf known as the spathe. That yellow thing sticking out is known as a spadix. On it are many tiny flowers.
I looked through my magnifying glass. I could see little bumps. Not really as impressive as the spathe.
I’ll probably still refer to the red thing a flower, but I should keep spathe and spadix filed away for Jeopardy.
Have you ever experienced something like what I’ve told in my story? Any coincidences that reminded you a certain loved one who had passed away? Did you see it as a sign or a pleasant reminder of the love you hold for them? Tell us about it in the comments!