Hemiepiphytic; stem scandent, slender, to 1.5 m long; internodes (2)7--9 cm long, (0.7)1--1.5 cm diam., usually longer than broad, medium green, more or less matte, becoming light brown, epidermis fissured minutely longitudinally upon drying; roots dark brown, thin; cataphylls subcoriaceous, 5--10 cm long, unribbed, bluntly to sharply 1-ribbed or rarely sharply 2-ribbed, green to reddish or maroon, deciduous, narrowly rounded at apex, margins clear. LEAVES spreading; petioles 4--12 cm long, 2--4(6) mm diam., spreading, subterete to C-shaped, sometimes tinged reddish, sometimes maroon at base, obtusely somewhat flattened or bluntly sulcate adaxially, rounded abaxially, surface semiglossy, with narrow purple ring at apex; sheathing 2.7--3.2 cm long, sheathing to ca. 2 cm but for 1/2 to 1/3 its petiole length when subtending inflorescences; geniculum subterete, maroon, 2.7--4 cm long, darker than petiole; blades more or less oblong or narrowly oblong to oblanceolate, moderately coriaceous, acuminate to long acuminate, sometimes acute at apex (the acumen sometimes short apiculate, 1--3 mm long), cuneate to rounded at base, 12--25.5 cm long, (2.7)4--10 cm wide (2.5--3 times longer than wide), (2--3 times longer than petiole), margins thin, narrow, reddish, upper surface drying reddish brown, semiglossy, lower surface weakly glossy; midrib flat to sunken, slightly paler than surface above, narrowly convex, reddish violet below; basal veins lacking; posterior rib lacking; primary lateral veins 3--4 per side, departing midrib at a 45--55º angle, ascending to the apex, inconspicuous or slightly sunken above, not distinct below; tertiary veins visible, darker than surface; minor veins obsurely visible to moderately distinct, fine, close, arising from midrib only; secretory ducts usually obscurely visible on lower surface of dried blade. INFLORESCENCES 1 per axil; peduncle 2.6--5.2 cm long, 2--5 mm diam., obscured by petiole sheath; spathe moderately coriaceous, 7--11.5 cm long, (2.2--2.7 times longer than peduncle), scarcely or not at all constricted, pale green to cream, often tinged lightly or heavily with reddish lineations, sometimes solid red or maroon, or with red speckles or lines (rarely seen in Panamanian specimens), green to whitish, suffused with red inside; resin canals appearing medially, especially near the constriction; spathe tube cylindrical, semiglossy outside, 4--5 cm long, deep maroon, red, or crimson inside, spadix sessile; cylindrical, sometimes clavate or weakly tapered, 7.2--8.5(9.5) cm long, more or less uniform throughout; pistillate portion pale greenish, cylindrical, 1.8--2.4 cm long, 5.8--8 mm diam. at apex, 6--9 mm diam. at middle, 5--6 mm wide at base; staminate portion 4.8--8.9 cm long; fertile staminate portion white, cylindrical, clavate or weakly tapered, 6--11 mm diam. at base, 8--9 mm diam. at middle, 7 mm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex, as broad as or sometimes broader than the pistillate portion, if detectable, narrower than the sterile portion; sterile staminate portion broader than the pistillate portion, white, 6 mm diam.; pistils 1--2.2 mm long, 0.6--1.4 mm diam.; ovary 5--8(10)-locular, 0.4--1 mm long, 0.8--1 mm diam., with sub-basal placentation; ovules 1(2) per locule, sometimes contained within transparent, gelatinous ovule sac, 0.2--0.5 mm long, equal in length to or longer than funicle; funicle 0.2 mm long, style 0.7 mm diam., similar to style type B; style apex with depressions surrounding stylar canal exits; stigma brush-like, discoid, 0.5(1.5) mm diam., 0.2--0.6 mm high, covering entire style apex; the androecium truncate, margins irregularly 4--5 sided, 1.3 mm long, 0.3--1.4 mm diam. at apex; thecae oblong, sometimes oblong-ellipical; pollen spheroidal to ellipsoidal or elongate, less than 0.2 mm long, 0.1 mm diam.; sterile staminate flowers 3--6-sided or irregularly 4-sided, 0.9--3.9 mm long, 0.4--1.3 mm wide. INFRUCTESCENCE pendent; seeds 1(2) per locule. JUVENILE leaves and spathes tinged red.
Philodendron bakeri is known along the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica from 100 to 900 m elevation in Premontane wet forest and Tropical wet forest life zones and also occurs in Central Panama at 900 to 1420 m in Tropical wet forest and Premontane rain forest life zones. It is expected to be found in intervening areas.