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Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Autic, Sep 17, 2007.
This plant just arrived in the greenhouse, any ideas as to Genus, species etcetera??
Certainly looks like a Philodendron to me, but I'm not the expert. There are others here who have just come back from the Aroid show, so they may be able to help you
Does appear to be a Philodendron but I just can't make out enough detail from the photo to offer any descent opinion. Can you try to post another photo or two of a leaf with little or no shadow. And if possible, a photo of the base of the plant. It does make a difference when determining species.
I just took some new pictures, any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
From the color of the petioles my guess would be this is a hybrid species. Few Philodendron species produce a red petiole, the primary one is Philodendron erubescens from Central and South America. For quite a few years plant hybridizers have used that species to create what they considered more "interesting" species by crossing two or more true species. After a while the true species tends to get lost in the mix.
The only way to be certain what you might be growing is to examine a spathe and spadix. And even that may not tell us the true species if it is a hybrid. The basic form of the leaf is just not right for a true Philodendron erubescens. There is something else mixed in there.
There is no telling when you might grow a spathe but I'm going to give you the information needed so you'll be prepared once it happens. The plant appears to be old enough, but it will decide when it is ready. I wrote this description for another thread but I've copied it and edited it for your use.
In Philodendron species the spathe normally develops right off the cane adjacent to the leaf nodes. It can have a multitude of shapes and colors. Some are very brightly colored and others are simply green and/or white. The spathe is the green with white interior in the photo I've attached. In the center you'll see the spadix. This is not a flower, it is an inflorescence. The actual flowers develop along the spadix at the center and are very small. Both male and female flowers will develop if your plant is fertile and are normally divided into groups in order to prevent self pollination. Hybrid species are often not fertile. The female flowers become receptive before the male flowers produce pollen. Nature's goal is for an insect to pick up pollen from one inflorescence on a different plant and bring it to the second plant in order to keep the species strong. Philodendron give off a distinct odor (pheromone) that a particular male insect can detect. Nature uses this interesting technique to prevent accidental cross pollination in the wild. Since that male insect is only drawn to one particular scent on an a Philodendron he does not pick up pollen from one plant and take it to a different species.
If fertile, and pollinated, seed berries will eventually grow along the spadix. Birds eat the berries and then carry the seeds (normally two per berry) to other portions of the rain forest and leave them in their droppings on tree limbs.
The majority of Philodendron species are epiphytic and grow up on tree branches, not in the soil. Many never have their roots touch the soil. They simply gather water from the rain. But some species eventually drop their roots 30 or 40 feet (perhaps more) to the soil and then grow even larger. The bird's droppings contains just enough moisture and nutrient to cause the seed to germinate.
Philodendron species are extremely variable. There is no way to look at the shape of a leaf and tell the species. Some species have twenty or more leaf shapes but are still the same species. And if you are dealing with hybrids, discerning a species becomes even more complicated. This fact often confuses many people. We expect every leaf of every plant to look alike. Not so with aroids, especially with Philodendron and Anthurium species. Think of them like people. You know lots of people with different shape bodies, different color skin, different color hair, different races. But all those people are the same species. Same with many aroids. Just because they all don't look alike does not mean they are different species.
As a result, a botanist has to resort to other ways of identifying the species and the spathe is one important way to do so. Despite the shape of the leaf, the spathe and spadix will remain fairly constant within a species. Every Philodendron species produces a peculiar shaped spathe and spadix, often with distinguishing colors.
In the photo you can see several spathes still completely closed. On your plant, once it is ready to reproduce, it will produce one or more spathes. Some species produce a single spathe, others clusters. Since we don't know the species (if it is a species), there is no way of knowing what the shape of the spathe and spadix will be.
Spathes are most often produced in the spring but different species produce them at varying times of the year including the fall. So there is no way of knowing what time of year you may grow one. But when you do, keep a camera handy! Every species has a different shape and color to the spathe. These are one of the primary ways of identifying the species to a botanical scientist. But if it is a hybrid we may still not be able to figure out for certain what the parents may have been. Those red petioles are a major clue it may be a hybrid.
If I lost you anywhere with the explanation just ask and I'll try to clarify. Most people seem to think only the little plants you grow on your kitchen counter are Philodendron but in truth there are more than 1000 species and they are often radically different. And again, many species have many more than a single leaf shape. Some have leaves up to 6 feet long!
The spathe in the photo is from Philodendron williamsii, an extremely rare Brazilian plant. Many people on eBay sell plants calling them "Philodendron williamsii" but those are normally truly a form of Philodendron stenolobum. Lots of people get easily confused about Philodendron species. There's also a great deal of "fiction" on the internet regarding this genus.
Can you take one more really clean photo of a single leaf blade and post it? If possible, try to keep the glare of the sun off the blade so I can see the veins in the leaf. Both the top and bottom of the leaf would be helpful.
Thank You for all the information I have alot of reading to do!
They're selling that over here at the moment as "Red Congo" but that is only a name...
That is one of the common names often used for hybrid forms of Philodendron erubescens.
Yeah...they are fairly common over here at the moment, how about at you end, Steve?
It is too bad the folks in Indonsia don't want to buy Philodendron instead of Anthurium. I could find about 100 of these to sell by tomorrow morning.