Philodendron brunneicaule Croat & Grayum
  • Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 84: 414 (1997) 

Notes: Distribution: Costa Rica to Ecuador

General Description

Hemiepiphytic; stem light reddish brown to rusty red, leaf scars conspicuous, 8 mm long, 12 mm wide; internodes sparsely short dark-lineate, sometimes weakly warty, semiglossy, 6-20 cm long, 1--1.2 cm diam., longer than broad, dark green to olive-green to brown, epidermis loosening and flaking, reddish brown; cataphylls soft, 20--40 cm long, unribbed, sometimes bluntly 1-ribbed, greenish white to white with margins pinkish, drying reddish, deciduous. LEAVES: petioles 21--63 cm long, 4--11 mm diam., erect-spreading to spreading, terete, to C-shaped, somewhat flattened adaxially, medium greem, surface matte, sometimes striate and dark green- to red-lineate; geniculum 3 cm long, 2.5--3 cm diam., thinner and paler than petiole; blades ovate, subcoriaceous, bicolorous, acuminate at apex, cordate or sometimes sagittate at base, 25--62 cm long, 16--52 cm wide (0.6--1.75 times longer than wide), (0.7--1.6 times longer than petiole), upper surface dark green, glossy to semiglossy, lower surface glossy to semiglossy, paler; anterior lobe 23--65 cm long, 19--52 cm wide, (0.88--1.5 times longer than wide); posterior lobes rounded to obtuse, 8--20 cm long, 9--26 cm wide; sinus spathulate to hippocrepiform; midrib flat to sunken, paler than surface above, narrowly convex to round-raised, paler than surface, sometimes tinged maroon below; basal veins 5--9 per side, with 0--2 free to base, (2)3--4 coalesced 1.9--4.5 cm; posterior rib naked for 1--4.5 cm; primary lateral veins 4-6 per side, departing midrib at a 45--55º angle, conspicuously sunken above, narrowly convex and tinged maroon below; interprimary veins weakly raised and darker than surface below; minor veins arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins; tertiary veins visible and sometimes darker than surface below. INFLORESCENCES erect, 1 per axil; peduncle 4--20 cm long, 8--9 mm diam., medium green, whitish at base, short dark green lineate; spathe glossy, 11--21 cm long, (1.05--2.85 times longer than peduncle), constricted midway above the tube; spathe blade cream outside, greenish white (at anthesis) inside; spathe tube 6.5--9 cm long, green outside, cherry-red inside; spadix 9--17 cm long, broadest above the middle or more or less uniform throughout; pistillate portion cylindrical to obovoid, 3.8--7 cm long, 7--13 mm diam. at apex, 8--14 mm diam. at middle, 10--14 mm wide at base; staminate portion 4.6--17.5 cm long; fertile staminate portion clavate, 9--16 mm diam. at base, 12--20 mm diam. at middle, 7--10 mm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex, broadest at middle, broader than the pistillate portion, narrower than the sterile portion; sterile staminate portion as broad as or narrower than the pistillate portion, 0.9--1.6 cm diam.; pistils 1.3--3.2 mm long, 1--1.8 mm diam.; ovary 5(6)7-locular, 0.9--2.1 mm long, 0.9 mm diam., with axile placentation; ovules (13)15--18 per locule, 2-series, 0.1--1.7 mm long, longer than or equal in length to funicle, style 1.2 mm diam., similar to style type B; style apex rounded; stigma subdiscoid, lobed, 1.5 mm diam., 0.3 mm high, covering not quite entire style apex; the androecium truncate, 3--6-sided, 2.2 mm long; thecae oblong, 0.2--0.5 mm wide; sterile staminate flowers blunt with one side scalloped, 1--2.2 mm long, 0.7--1.9 mm wide. INFRUCTESCENCE with berries white. JUVENILE plants with internodes to 10 cm long, 4--10 mm diam.; cataphylls reddish, persisting at upper nodes, sharply C-shaped in cross-section.

Diagnostic Description

The species is characterized by its appressed-climbing habit, long internodes with thin, flaking reddish brown epidermis (hence the name "brunneicaule," from "brunneus" meaning brown, and "caulis" meaning stem), white, unribbed, deciduous cataphylls, somewhat adaxially flattened and red-lineate petioles, ovate blades with reddish brown drying veins, large, solitary inflorescences borne at several of the uppermost internodes, and green spathes colored cherry-red inside on the tube.


Tropical wet forest and Premontane rain forest.


Ranges from Costa Rica to Panama, Colombia (Valle) and Ecuador (Esmeraldas).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Central America Costa Rica
  • Panamá
  • Western South America Colombia
  • Ecuador


  • 1 Hammel, B.E. & al. (2003). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 2: 1-694. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • 2 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.
  • 3 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
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
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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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