Philodendron cretosum Croat & Grayum
  • Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 84: 427 (1997) 

Notes: Distribution: Costa Rica to Panama

General Description

Epiphytic or hemiepiphytic; stem appressed-climbing, elongate, sap chalk-white; internodes short, 4-9 cm long on lower stems, short on flowering plants, 1-3 cm diam., as broad as long or slightly longer than broad, gray-green; roots drying dark brown, few per node; cataphylls thin, membranous, 23-42 cm long, bluntly 1-ribbed, green, drying pale yellowish brown, persisting as pale fibers; LEAVES: petioles 10.5-23.5 cm long, 3-6 mm diam., medium green, semiglossy, bluntly and broadly or deeply and narrowly sulcate adaxially, with adaxial margins obtuse or sometimes acute; blades linear to oblanceolate, chartaceous to weakly subcoriaceous, weakly bicolorous, drying greenish to yellowish brown on both surfaces, matte and paler below, acuminate to weakly acute at apex (the acumen apiculate), attenuate at base, 29-84.5 cm long, 5-12 cm wide (5.1-8.3 times longer than wide), (2.6-4.7 times longer than petiole), much longer petioles, broadest in upper one-third; midrib prominently and narrowly sunken above, thicker than broad, bluntly acute, glossy and darker than surface below; basal veins lacking; primary lateral veins 6-9 per side, departing midrib at a 25-45º angle, straight to weakly arcuate to the margins, sunken above, convex below; interprimary veins sunken above, slightly raised below; minor veins arising from midrib only; tertiary veins visible, darker than surface below. INFLORESCENCES 1-3 per axil; peduncle (2.5)4-8.9 cm long, ca. 10 mm diam., drying 3-5 mm diam., shorter than petiole, subterete or irregularly angled, white-striate; spathe subcoriaceous, semiglossy, 9-13.5 cm long, (1.8-3.3 times longer than peduncle), moderately constricted midway or just below the middle, abruptly acuminate at apex; spathe blade lanceolate, pale green to greenish white outside, 5.5-8 cm long, greenish white inside; spathe tube ellipsoid, green, short white lineate outside, 3.5-5.5 cm long, 1.8-2 cm diam., white (at anthesis) inside; spadix stipitate to 5 mm long; 11-15 cm long; pistillate portion white to pale greenish, weakly ellipsoid, 3-3.5 cm long; staminate portion 4.5-7.8 cm long; fertile staminate portion white; sterile staminate portion 1.2 cm diam.; pistils 0.6-0.9 mm long, 3 mm diam., drying blackish; ovary 4-locular, with axile placentation; ovules ca. 20 per locule, 2-3-seriate, 0.3-0.4 mm long; funicle ca. 0.4 mm long, adnate to lower part of partition, style similar to style type D; style apex flat, with a small style boss; stigma hemispherical; the androecium oblong, 3-5-sided, 0.8-1.2 mm long, 0.4-0.6 mm diam. at apex; sterile staminate flowers irregularly 4-6-sided, 1.5-2.1 mm long, 0.7-1 mm wide. INFRUCTESCENCE 6 cm long, 2.5 cm diam.; seeds 18-20 per locule, obovoid to weakly ellipsoid, 0.8-1 mm long, 0.4-0.5 mm diam.


Tropical wet forest and Premontane rain forest life zones.


Ranges from Costa Rica to Panama. The species is perhaps restricted to the Atlantic drainage but has been collected principally from areas along the Continental Divide in Panama.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Central America Costa Rica
  • Panamá


  • 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 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.
  • 4 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
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • B 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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