Philodendron brevispathum Schott
  • Bonplandia (Hannover) 7: 29 (1859) 

Notes: Distribution: C. & S. Trop. America

General Description

Terrestrial or hemiepiphytic; stem scandent, coarsely scabrous, densely covered with trichome-like, often branched scales; internodes elongate, 7.5--14(23) cm long, 8--15 mm diam., longer than broad, epidermis reddish brown, loosening and flaking, without fissures; roots drying tan to dark brown, few per node; cataphylls 6--9 cm long, soft, unribbed, green, drying dark reddish brown, eventually deciduous; LEAVES: petioles 10--43 cm long, 3--7 mm diam., subterete to bluntly C-shaped, somewhat spongy; blades ovate to ovate-triangular, concolorous, semiglossy, thin, acuminate at apex, cordate at base, 16--36 cm long, 11--26 cm wide (1.4--2 times longer than wide), (0.8--1.6 times longer than petiole), broadest at or above middle, upper surface semiglossy, lower surface semiglossy; anterior lobe 12--30 cm long, 10.8--24 cm wide (1.3--2.4 times longer than posterior lobes); posterior lobes somewhat triangular to narrowly triangular to rounded, or rounded to with hastate or flaring lobes, 5--15 cm long, 4.9--11.5 cm wide, subacute; sinus narrow or sometimes V-shaped, 9--11 cm deep; midrib sunken above, convex to raised, drying slightly paler below; basal veins 3--4 per side, with 1 free to base, coalesced 4--10 mm, or with 2--3 veins colaesced to 3 or 4 cm; posterior rib not naked or obscurely and briefly naked to 0.5 cm long; primary lateral veins (3)4--5 per side, departing midrib at a 55--70º angle, gradually ascending to the margins, weakly sunken above, convex and drying slightly darker below; interprimary veins almost as conspicuous as primary lateral veins; minor veins arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins; tertiary veins visible and darker than surface below. INFLORESCENCES erect, 1 per axil; peduncle 1--7 cm long, 2.5--5 mm diam., subterete; spathe 6--10.5 cm long, (1.4--4.6(9) times longer than peduncle); spathe blade green outside, red inside; spathe tube green to greenish white outside, 4--4.5 cm long, 2--2.5 cm diam., green to white inside; spadix sessile; 7--9.5 cm long, whitish to yellowish; pistillate portion 2--3 cm long, 3.5 cm diam. throughout; staminate portion 5--7 cm long; fertile staminate portion 5--10 mm diam.; sterile staminate portion 5--6 mm diam.; ovary ca. 6-locular, with axile placentation; ovules 6--14 per locule, 0.3--0.4 mm long, longer than funicle; funicle 0.2 mm long, adnate to lower part of partition, style similar to style type B; stylar canals emerging at base of pronounced apical depressions; style apex drying dark brown with a pale undulate margin and a central solitary stigmatic pad; the androecium truncate, prismatic, margins distinctly scalloped, irregularly 4--5-sided, 0.9 mm long; thecae oblong, 0.4 mm wide, nearly contiguous. INFRUCTESCENCE with peduncle 4 cm long, spathe 5--6 cm long; spadix, 3.5--4 cm long, 2.5 cm wide; berries pale yellow, 6 mm long, 3 mm diam.; seeds 4--6 per berry, oblong to weakly ovoid, 1.4 mm long, 0.4--0.5 mm diam.


Though long known only from the Caribbean coast of Panama, Philodendron brevispathum is now known to be a locally rare but more widespread species with special ecological requirements. It ranges from Nicaragua to Panama at 0--280 m with disjunct populations in South America, there ranging from Venezuela to Brazil (Amazonas), Colombia (Vichada, Meta), Ecuador (Napo), Peru (Loreto), and Bolivia, at elevations of 60 to 230 meters.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Central America Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru


  • 1 Gomes Gonçalves, E. & Nadruz Coelho, M.A. (2009). Araceae. Flora dos estados de Goiás e Tocantins 39: 1-109. Universidade Federal de Goiás.
  • 2 Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
  • 3 Hammel, B.E. & al. (2003). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 2: 1-694. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • 4 Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 5 Stevens, W.D., Ulloa U., C., Pool, A. & Montiel, O.M. (2001). Flora de Nicaragua. Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 85: i-xlii, 1-2666.
  • 6 Croat, T.Bernard A revision of Philodendron subgenus Philodendron (Araceae) for Mexico and Central America Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 84, (1997).

 Information From

CATE Araceae
Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 14 Dec 2011 . 17 Dec 2011.
  • A All Rights Reserved
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eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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