Flowers emit volatile compounds that attract pollinators. In ornamental plant breeding programs, fragrance is a significant character that adds value to flowers for its consumer appeal. In Hawaii, anthurium (Araceae) is an important crop used for cut flowers and flowering potted plants. Unlike other ornamentals, fragrance is not presently associated with commercial anthuriums. However, several anthurium species are known to have distinctive scents. To obtain the novelty trait of fragrance in anthurium, an understanding of anthurium scent genetics, physiology, and chemistry is required. Scented anthurium species and hybrids in the Univ. of Hawaii germplasm collection have been studied. Fragrance emission among species varies with time of day—some species being scented only in the morning, only at night, or all day long. Fragrance emission also varies with stage of spadix development, with some species having scent as pistillate and/or staminate flowers. The species sampled comprise five categories: A. amnicola, A. formosum, and A. lindenianum are minty; A. armeniense is sweet; A. gracile is floral; A. bicollectivum, A. cerrobaulense, A. folsomii, and A. harleyii are fruity; and A. supianum is fishy. Some of the chemical components are illustrated.
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