Paul van Adrichem and his son Paul Jr, Westland Greenhouses, confirmed my suspicion. Their tissue culture anthuriums are shipped from a laboratory in Holland and grown to perfect, uniform maturity in their greenhouses in Grand Bend, Ontario.
I suspect that many gardeners don’t realize that micropropagation is used commercially for many commonly used plants. The popularity of micro versus macro (traditional propagation) is speed. Speed to produce mature plants as well as a faster way to select new varieties. And yes, exact copies. Plenty of exact copies.
Twenty-five years ago, micropropagation was commonly used with orchid propagation. Tissue culture was the only way to reliably germinate the minuscule orchid seeds. Today, however, many more plants are propagated in vitro. Crops like Hosta, Heuchera, Ligularia, Verbascum, Melittis, Sedum, Echinacea, Brunnera, Geranium and Polemonium are standard fare for commercial tissue culture laboratories. And there are many more.
Margit Laimer and Waltraud Rücker (Plant tissue culture: 100 years since Gottlieb Haberlandt) report that of the 24.7 million plants were micropropagated in Germany in 2000.
49 percent were orchids
16.2 percent small fruits
15.8 percent woody plants
12.2 percent ornamentals
5.3 percent perennial garden plants
1.6 percent agricultural crops (ie potatoes and blueberries).
Other plants micropropagated include
So the next time you buy a plant, try and guess if the plant got its start in a petri dish. The van Adrichems certainly know how to take the tissue culture grown plants and grow them into perfect Lovable Hearts anthuriums…now that’s a green thumb.