The genus Anthurium (from the Greek anthos, 'flower', and oura, 'tail', alluding to its spadix) is very broad, with more than 600 species, the vast majority of which are found in tropical America. This particular species, A. andreanum, is native to Colombia and Ecuador.
Its striking heart-shaped spathe, which can range in colour from deep red to pure white, serves the function of a flower (it is actually a transformed bract), with the yellow spadix being the true inflorescence. This combination has made it a very popular ornamental plant both in pots and as a cut flower, despite its toxicity, with numerous cultivars and hybrids.
Although Édouard-François André and Jean Jules Linden described it for modern botany, it seems to have been brought to Europe by the Colombian botanist José Jerónimo Triana (1828-1890), who collected it in what is now the Department of Nariño in the mid-19th century, years before André's arrival in Colombia, and presented it years later in France.
It is one of the plants selected by NASA in the Clean air study for its ability to remove formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia from the air.