Philodendron sulcatum K.Krause
  • H.G.A.Engler, Pflanzenr., IV, 23Db: 19 (1913) 

Notes: Distribution: Nicaragua to Ecuador

General Description

Usually an appressed-climbing, understood trunk epiphyte, fertile to 1,5-4 m above ground, the fertile apex sometimes divergent; in Ecuador, frequently more scandent and highly branched, with the branches pendent. Internodes (0.9-) 2.2-8.2 (-11.0) cm long (except at fertile apices, where highly congested and <1 mm long), 0.3-0.7 (-0.9) cm wide, dark green becoming gray-green or brownish gray, semiglossy, drying yellowish brown to tan and coarsely sulcate, the epidermis some- times exfoliating; roots typically present at distal nodes, to ca. 1 mm thick. LEAVES: Petiole (5.4-) 11.5-17.5 (-21.6) cm long, P/L=(0.43-) 0.52-0.81 (-1.00), weakly glossy, extensively sheathed, the sheath broad, erect to involute in proximal 2-3 cm, otherwise erect to (more usually) spreading, adnate or with the free portion pro- longed apically to ca. 0.4 cm; unsheathed portion of petiole 0.1-1.1 (-1.8) cm long, sulcate above with the margins rounded-obtuse to acute. Lamina (8.2-) 14.3-28.0 (-31.9) cm long, 4.1-12.8 (-13.2) cm wide, L/W=(1.36-) 1.55-3.63 (-3.84), IQI=2-10 (-13), thinly curvaceous to subcoriaceous, weakly glossy to semiglossy or (rarely) glossy above, matte to semiglossy below, weakly to moderately bicolored, ovate to narrowly or broadly elliptical to lanceolate (usually broadest at or below the middle), with thin, scarious, brown-drying margins, gradually to very abruptly moderately to long-acuminate apically the [acumen 1.0-1.8 (-2,8) cm long], narrowly to (more commonly) broadly cuneate or rounded (rarely truncate to subcordate) basally; midrib weakly sunken above, convex below; primary lateral veins (4-) 5-11 (-17) per side, (0.2-) 0.4-3.6 (-4.4) cm apart, weakly sunken above, weakly convex below; minor veins obscurely visible below and slightly darker; abaxial laminar surface drying densely and very evenly granular (though the granules may be of low relief ), with reticulate veins scarcely if at all evident; without white stitching; resin canals occasionally visible; adaxial surface rarely granular (except sometimes along midrib), densely and minutely or (rarely) sparsely or streakily alveolate, with reticulate veins not evident; without white stitching; resin canals not visible. INFLORESCENCES solitary or paired, perhaps very rarely 3 (upper internodes usually much congested, so 4 inflorescences often borne in close proximity); cataphylls typically present, (3.3-) 5.0-8.9 (-13.7) cm long, 0.3-1.2 (-1.7) cm wide, narrowly to broadly lanceolate, sharply 2-keeled to bluntly low-ridged; peduncle 3.1-8.0 (-11.7) cm long, P/S=0.37-0.76 (-0.87), finely short- lineate, somewhat compressed; spathe at anthesis (6.1-) 9.0-13.0 (-16.0) cm long (may be shorter than spadix), 1.6-2.5 cm wide, rather thin-walled, the tube some- what inflated (loosely enveloping the spadix) and longitudinally wrinkled or sulcate, externally green below (and short-lineate at very base), cream-yellowish to greenish white distally, internally pale green or cream; spathe drying densely and minutely granular and sparingly short-white-lineate externally, internally uniformly and densely granular, with longitudinal secretory striations in basal half; acumen of spathe obsolete or to ca. 0.9 (-2.6+) cm long. Stipe of spadix 0.2-1.0 cm long; spadix (5.9-) 7.6-12.6 (-13.0+) cm long, the fertile male portion 0.50-0.85(-0.95) cm wide, ivory or cream; sterile male zone 0.2-0.8 (-1.1) cm long; female portion of spadix pale green, (1,9-) 2.0-3.9 (-4.3) cm long (to 5.1+ cm toward fruit), F/S= (0.21-) 0.24-0.37 (-0.43), 0.7-1.2 cm wide (to 2.7+ cm in fruit); fertile male flowers 0.9-1.6 mm long, 0.7-1.8 mm wide, irregularly polygonal, columnar; sterile male flowers 0.6-1.7 mm long, 0.8-1.6 mm wide, anvil-shaped; female flowers 1.4-2.4 mm long, 0.3-1.0 mm wide, the stylar canals (3-) 4 (-5). INFRUCTESCENCES: Ripe fruits sordid or (perhaps) green or yellow-green. Seeds 0.45-0.65 mm long, 0.35- 0.45 mm wide, red to purple, slightly curved or C-shaped to semicochleate or cochleate (form variable within a single fruit), finely striate and minutely cancellate along striae, drying deep purple and glossy.


Characteristically in Tropical Wet Forest and Premontane Wet Forest, although also collected from Tropical Moist Forest, Premontane Rain Forest, and (especially southward) Lower Montane Wet Forest life zones (one aberrant collection, discussed below, is from a region of Tropical Very Dry Forest).


North-central Nicaragua through Costa Rica and Panama, thence discontinuously along the Pacific slope of South America south to Guayas and Chimborazo Provinces, Ecuador.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Central America Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua
  • 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 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 Grayum, M.Howard Revision of Philodendron subgenus Pteromischum (Araceae) for Pacific and Caribbean Tropical America. Systematic Botany Monographs. 47, (1996).

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