Philodendron hederaceum (Jacq.) Schott
  • Wiener Z. Kunst 3: 780 (1829) 

Notes: Distribution: Mexico to Trop. America

General Description

Hemiepiphytic vine; growing to often high in trees, stem appressed-climbing, eventually scandent, often pendent, sap clear, turning honey-colored, leaf scars 7--15 mm long; internodes weakly flattened on one side, sometimes with 2 sharply raised on the side above the petioles, usually weakly glossy, sometimes matte, pale to medium green, minutely speckled to striate, usually smooth when fresh, but drying minutely ridged, sometimes prominently ribbed throughout its circumference (the ribs smooth to prominently warty), (2)10--28 cm long, 1--2.5(3.5) cm diam., dark green, usually drying green, sometimes reddish; roots brown, to 10 cm long, many at nodes; cataphylls 6--10 cm long, unribbed, weakly 1-ribbed, or bluntly to sharply 2-ribbed, pale green, deciduous; LEAVES: petioles (6)9.7--27(33) cm long, 6--10 mm diam., terete to subterete, pale green, firm, flattened adaxially, pale green, surface smooth, weakly glossy to matte; blades broadly ovate, subcoriaceous to coriaceous, semiglossy to matte, acuminate to long acuminate, sometimes cuspidate at apex (the acumen inrolled, 0.5--0.9 mm long), 11--40(50) cm long, 8--24(34) cm wide (1.2--1.9) times longer than wide), (ca. 1.3(1.5) times longer than petiole), margins hyaline to pale yellowish, upper surface dark green, sometimes subvelvety, lower surface slightly paler, often purplish violet, drying gray-green to yellow-green; anterior lobe 9--30(41) cm long, 9--24(29) cm wide ((2)2.4--3.7(6.3) times longer than posterior lobes); posterior lobes 3--10(14) cm long, 4.3--15.7 cm wide, directed inward and sometimes overlapped, obtuse to rounded; sinus usually deeper than broad, mostly spathulate, rarely hippocrepiform, 3--7 cm deep; midrib convex to flat or sunken, concolorous or slightly paler than surface above, convex, concolorous below; basal veins (3)4--5(6) per side, with (0)1--2 free to base, part of the remainder coalesced to 1.5--2 cm cm; posterior rib not naked; primary lateral veins 2--6 per side, departing midrib at a 35--55º angle, more or less straight to the margins, sunken to weakly raised, slightly paler than surface above, convex and paler than surface below; minor veins obsured to moderately distinct, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins. INFLORESCENCES erect or pendent, 1 per axil; peduncle (2-3)4--15.7 cm long, 8--12 mm diam., pale green, sometimes tinged purple, matte; spathe subcoriaceous to coriaceous, 9--16.6(24) cm long, (0.9--2.6(3.3) times longer than peduncle), weakly constricted above the tube, 1.3--3.6(5.7) cm diam. at constriction, usually green, sometimes yellowish white, yellowish green, or cream to creamy-white throughout; spathe blade sometimes purple tinged outside, 1.2--3.6 cm diam. when furled, pale green, greenish yellow, sometimes tinged red inside; spathe tube dark green, sometimes tinged reddish maroon outside, 5--6 cm long, 1.5--4.9(6.9) cm diam., maroon, dark red, crimson, or purple at base inside; spadix stipitate to 5--10 mm long, dark maroon; 12--20 cm long; pistillate portion pale greenish white to green, 3.5--6 cm long, 1.5 cm diam. at base, 1.7 cm diam. at middle and near apex; staminate portion 7--11 cm long; fertile staminate portion creamy white to pinkish, broadest at base, weakly constricted ca. 1 cm above sterile portion then more or less uniform to near apex, 1.4--2.2 cm diam. at middle, 9 mm diam. ca 1 cm from apex; sterile staminate portion 1.6 cm diam.; pistils 4--9.2 mm long, 1.8--3.1 mm diam.; ovary 4--6(7)-locular, 8 mm long, locules 8 mm long, 1.4 mm diam., with axile placentation; ovules 20--25 per locule, 0.1 mm long, 2-seriate; funicle 0.1--0.3 mm long, adnate to lower part of partition, style 1.1 mm long, 2.9 mm diam., similar to style type B; style apex flat or somewhat rounded, drying concave with a pale margin and 4--6 paler, flat to weakly sunken circular areas associated with the stylar pores; stigma 3--4-sided, light brown to reddish, drying light brown 1.8--3.3 mm diam., 0.35 mm high, margins thin; sterile staminate flowers blunt, irregularly 4--5-sided, 2.2 mm long, 1.3 mm wide. INFRUCTESCENCE pendent, often on leafless stems; spathe dark green, weakly glossy outside; pistillate spadix 5--8 cm long, 3.5--4 cm diam.; berries greenish white; seeds 1--2 per locule, somewhat orange, many per berry, more or less ovoid to oblong ellipsoid, (1.5)3--5 mm long, 2.5--4 mm diam., with weak constriction (nipple) and densely covered with raphide cells. JUVENILE plants with upper blade surface dark green, sometimes reddish green, with glistening minute close papillations, lower surface somewhat maroon; veins less conspicuous.


Ranges throughout the West Indies and from Mexico throughout Central America and much of South America. In South America it extends from as far south as Los Ríos Province in coastal Ecuador to Trinidad, Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia on the Atlantic drainage of the continent.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Central
  • Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Northeast
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Caribbean Cayman Is.
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica
  • Leeward Is.
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Windward Is.
  • Central America Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana (Doubtful)
  • Guyana (Doubtful)
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
Introduced into
  • Africa Western Indian Ocean Seychelles


  • 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 Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2005). Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 52: 1-415.
  • 7 Hammel, B.E. & al. (2003). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 2: 1-694. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • 8 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.
  • 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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Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • C All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • D 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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