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Philodendron
Photos: Philodendron 'Burle Marx' above and P. giganteum below.
Philodendron sp.

Philodendron

Philodendron species

fill-oh-DEN-dron

Araceae

Explanation of name: Generic name from Greek, philos (loving) and dendron (tree)

Note: Philodendron is a large tropical American genus (approx. 700 species, ARA), with many cultivated species and cultivars. For extensive information on Philodendron, see ARA. By far the most important in South Florida landscaping is Philodendron bipinnatifidum Endl. (Philodendron selloum C. Koch) and its dwarf cultivars, especially ‘Xanadu’.

Recognition: The genus resembles Homalomena which differs in having a consistently terrestrial habit, frequently spiny petioles, sap smelling of anise, and staminodia mixed in among the pistillate flowers on the spadix (ARA).
Philodendrons have parallel veins (as opposed to net veins in Epipremnum and several other genera---see the key under Araceae). The leaf blades in Philodendron, unlike many other broad-leaved Aroids, have a vein running along the edge of the basal notch (sinus) where the petiole is attached.

Landscape uses: Philodendron bipinnatifidum (P. selloum) and a small cultivar ‘Xanadu’ are among the most-used landscaping plants in South Florida. There are innumerable additional species, hybrids, and cultivars. (For a sampler see http://www.glasshouseworks.com/trop-p2.html.) Popular selections, thanks in part to tissue culture, are Philodendron: ‘Burle Marx’ (with the leaves green and strongly sagittate), ‘Congo’ (with stiff green, elliptic-lanceolate leaves), ‘Hope’ (leaves deeply pinnately lobed, coarse; to 6’ tall; for detailed information consult http://redlandsnursery.com.au/Content/Documents/hope 240811.pdf’), and a series of red-colored cultivars, some marketed without full identification. The reddish selections include P. ‘Anderson’s Red’ (mostly green, with red overtones), ‘Autumn’ (light orange), ‘Imperial’ (green with some burgundy, also ‘Imperial Red’ with much more burgundy), ‘Rojo Congo’ (near-burgundy leaves on red petioles http://www.oglesbytc.com/cultural-notes/philodendron/), and ‘Prince of Orange’ (foliage rich orange). ‘Limelight’ and ‘Lemon Lime’ have yellowish coloration.

Nomenclatural note: The name ‘Xanadu’ is commonly applied to the main dwarf cultivar(s) of P. bipinnatifidum. There are others, creating the opportunity for overgeneralization or confusion. The Australian name ‘Winterbourn’ has likewise been applied to apparently the same cultivar. Additionally, the name xanadu has been applied by credible taxonomic authorities as a species name, as opposed to its usual use as a cultivar designation.
[Croat , Mayo & J.Boos. Aroideana; Journal of the International Aroid Society 25: 63. 2002 (2003).]

  

Botanical

English

FL native

Growth form

 

Flowering season

 

Typical dimensions

 

 

Suggested spacing

Cultural conditions

 

Problems

 

 

Philodendron bipinnatifidum (P. selloum)

Selloum

Exotic

Perennial

Shrub

Ground cover (especially ‘Xanadu’)

SP-SU

(BR1)

 

To 8’ tall

(‘Xanadu’ is a dwarf cultivar)

6’ for full-sized specimens

2’ for ‘Xanadu’

(PBCC)

SU-SH

ME

DT

WT

(BR1, PBCC)

Toxic

Irritant

Odor

Over-used

 

 


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