Philodendron fragrantissimum (Hook.) G.Don
  • R.Sweet, Hort. Brit., ed. 3: 632 (1839) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. America

General Description

Hemiepiphytic; acaulescent or caulescent, stem appressed-climbing or rarely scandent with slender, whip-like branches bearing small leaves, to 1--6 m long, sap orangish to brownish, sticky, spicy-scented; internodes short, 1--4 cm diam., usually thicker than long, dark green, semiglossy, obscured by cataphyll fibers, roots often many per node, drying dark brown, 2--3 mm diam.; cataphylls sharply 2-ribbed or sharply D-shaped, greenish white, sometimes drying reddish brown, persisting as persistent fibers, margins weakly upturned below. LEAVES erect-spreading; petioles 22--70 cm long, 4--11 mm diam., more or less D-shaped to sharply C-shaped, broadly sulcate adaxially; blades ovate to ovate-triangular, subcoriaceous, moderately bicolorous, acuminate at apex (the acumen sometimes inrolled or very short apiculate, 2--5 mm long), cordate at base, 21.6--59 cm long, 17--37.5 cm wide (1.1--1.7 times longer than wide), (0.7--1.3 times longer than petiole), about equal in length to petiole, upper surface semiglossy, lower surface semiglossy; anterior lobe 19.5--49 cm long, 17--39 cm wide, (2.1--3.9 times longer than posterior lobes); posterior lobes 5--16.5 cm long, 10--18.3 cm wide, obtuse to rounded; midrib broadly sunken, paler than surface above, convex, bluntly angular, paler than surface below; basal veins (3)4(5) per side, with (0)1(2) free to base, 1--2 coalesced 1--4 cm; posterior rib not naked or naked 1--4 cm along the sinus; primary lateral veins 3--6 per side, etched-sunken above, convex below; interprimary veins visible and discontinuous above; minor veins visible and darker than surface below, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins. INFLORESCENCES erect to semi-erect, 2 per axil; peduncle 3--13.5(17) cm long, 3--15 mm diam.; spathe 8.5--19 cm long, (1.2--3.6 times longer than peduncle); spathe blade white to greenish, rarely reddish outside, white to greenish inside; spathe tube reddish to dark maroon outside, red to maroon inside; spadix stipitate 3--4 mm long; cylindrical, 9--16 cm long, more or less uniform throughout; pistillate portion cylindrical, 2.5--5 cm long, 1.4 cm diam. throughout, 1.6 diam. at apex, 1.8 cm diam. at middle, 1.5 cm wide at base; staminate portion 6.3--7.8 cm long; fertile staminate portion creamy white, cylindrical, to 1.3 cm diam. at base, 1.4 cm diam. at middle, 1 cm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex, broadest in the middle and as broad as the pistillate and sterile portions; sterile staminate portion as broad as or broader than the pistillate portion, 1.2--1.5 cm diam.; pistils 3.2--3.5 mm long, 2.1--2.9 mm diam.; ovary 6--10-locular, with axile placentation; locules 1.6--2.3 mm long; ovules (24)32-36 per locule, 2-seriate, 0.2--0.3 mm long, more or less equal in length to funicle; funicle 0.2--0.3 mm long, style similar to style type D; stylar canals emerging into conspicuous depressions; style apex slightly concave to flat; stigma subdiscoid, (brush-like), unlobed, 2.1--2.7 mm diam., 0.5--0.7 mm high, covering entire style apex, inserted on entire style apex; the androecium 4--6-sided; thecae slightly obovate, 0.2--0.4 mm wide; sterile staminate flowers ellipsoidal to globose, 2.2--3 mm long. INFRUCTESCENCE with stipe of spadix maroon; berries usually bright red to purple-red, sometimes orange, rarely yellowish white (McPherson 14496) to white (McPherson 11380).


Tropical moist forest, Premontane wet forest and Tropical wet forest life zones.


Ranges from Belize to Panama along the Caribbean coast and to Pacific Colombia (Chocó), then disjunctly to the Amazon basin, where it ranges from Venezuela to the Guianas, northern Brazil (Roraima and Amazonas), southern Colombia (Meta, Caquetá, Guajira, and Vaupes), and Peru (Amazonas, Loreto, Ucayali, and Madre de Dios). It is also known from Cuba and Trinidad and it is to be expected in Ecuador and in western Brazil.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Caribbean Cuba
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Central America Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru


  • 1 Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
  • 2 Arruda Pontes, T., Moreira de Andrade, I. & Alves, M. (2010). Flora da Usina São José, Igarassu, Pernambuco: Araceae. Rodriguésia; Revista do Instituto de Biologia Vegetal, Jardim Botânico e Estaçao Biologica do Itatiaya 61: 689-794.
  • 3 Nadruz Coelho, M.A. (2010). A família Araceae na reserva natural Vale, Linhares, Espírito Santo, Brasil. Boletim do Museu de Biologia Mello Leitão , n.s., 28: 41-87.
  • 4 Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
  • 5 Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • 6 Hammel, B.E. & al. (2003). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 2: 1-694. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • 7 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.
  • 8 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.
  • 9 Arias Granda, I. (1998). Flora de la República de Cuba , Ser. A., 1(1): 1-46.
  • 10 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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