Philodendron megalophyllum Schott
  • Prodr. Syst. Aroid.: 279 (1860) 

Notes: Distribution: Trinidad to S. Trop. America

General Description

Hemiepiphyte, epiphytic to 30 m and sometimes a terrestrial vine on steep banks; sap light brown or orange; internodes moderately short, usually twisted into spirals, 2–9 cm long, 1.5–8 cm diam., medium to dark green or gray to gray-brown, matte to weakly glossy becoming light brown and transversely scurfy; roots, smooth, gray-green, 1-3 per node, extending to the ground; cataphylls 23–40 cm long, pale to medium green, sometimes pinkish, matte to weakly glossy, densely dark green-short-lineate (sometimes densely reddish lineate), unribbed or 1-ribbed to sharply 2-ribbed or D-shaped, soft, deciduous, (marcescent, persisting semi-intact, becoming brown, eventually only the base persistent), sometimes tinged with maroon toward base; LEAVES: Petioles terete, 2.0–2.7 cm diam. midway and to 4 cm diam. at swollen bases, conspicuously swollen and fleshy when young, obtusely and weakly flat near apex, medium green, matte to semiglossy, spongy to moderately firm, 44-80 cm long, (usually about as long as blades), finely striate to faintly and minutely short dark-green to dark reddish-lineate (sometimes with a dark purple ring at apex); blades cordate-sagittate, 25-60 cm long, 38 cm wide, prominently cordate at base, cuspidate at apex, subcoriaceous, dark green and semiglossy above, moderately paler and matte to semiglossy below, slightly to moderately bicolorous; midrib flat (or broadly sunken) to broadly convex and paler to slightly paler above, narrowly raised to thickly convex below, paler and weakly glossy below, short dark-lineate below, concolorous; primary lateral veins 13–18 pairs, moderately distinct, fine, flat-convex, (weakly sunken to bluntly- or quilted-sunken especially toward apex), slightly paler and concolorous above, narrowly rounded and thickly convex, paler, matte and concolorous below; minor veins fine, weakly raised above, mostly flat below, moderately distinct; posterior lobes moderately rounded, 8.5–27.5 cm long, 6.0–22 cm wide at middle, sinus spathulate, sometimes hippocrepiform, 7–28 cm deep, narrowly to broadly rounded at apex; basal veins 6–13, with 1–2 free to base, 3rd and higher order coalesced along a well developed posterior rib, 1.0–5.5 cm from base. INFLORESCENCE (1) 2–3 up to 6 per axil; peduncle 8.5-23 (40) cm long, medium green, faintly striate, up to 3 times longer than spathe, often of the same green shade; spathe 8.5–24 cm long, clearly demarcated from peduncle, glossy to weakly glossy, yellow green to dark green or sometimes maroon outside; yellow green to brownish inside, post-anthesis; tube pale green or shaded maroon or violet-purple inside, tinged weakly onto the whitish blade; inner surface of spathe exuding reddish orange resin droplets in middle area at the base of blade; spadix ca.1–1.5 (2+) cm diam. and protruding beyond spathe ca. 3 cm post-anthesis, stipe sometimes purple; pistillate spadix pale green with pale greenish white flowers; staminate flowers creamy white..


The species is mostly a thick-stemmed epiphyte, but also exists as a terrestrial vine, and may be found on the banks of roads. P. megalophyllum is frequently associated with ant nests. In the forest, smooth, long-dangling roots are a conspicuous characteristic of the species.


Philodendron megalophyllum ranges through the Amazon basin of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil to southern Venezuela, and the countries of Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Caribbean Trinidad-Tobago
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru


  • 1 Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
  • 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 GBIF (2008- continuously updated). Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
  • 4 Croat, T.Bernard & Weber, D. Personal Communication 2. (2007).

 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
  • B All Rights Reserved
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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