Philodendron wilburii Croat & Grayum
  • Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 84: 559 (1997) 

Notes: Distribution: Costa Rica to Panama

General Description

Usually hemiepiphytic, sometimes terrestrial; stem scandent, semiglossy, sap watery, spicy-scented, sometimes milky-white; internodes usually long, glossy to semiglossy, 3--15 cm long, 1.3--2 cm diam., usually longer than broad, dark green to gray-green, sometimes drying black, epidermis often cracking or minutely fissured, brittle, sometimes silver-gray; cataphylls soft, 7--26 cm long, unribbed to bluntly or sharply 1-ribbed, sometimes sharply D-shaped and sharply 2-ribbed, whitish or green, fleshy, glossy, deciduous. LEAVES: Petioles 16--55 cm long, 5--12 mm diam., subterete to terete, moderately spongy or moderately firm, bluntly D-shaped or obtusely flattened adaxially, surface weakly glossy to semiglossy, smooth; sheathing 6--8 cm long; blades ovate-triangular, thinly coriaceous to subcoriaceous, matte to semiglossy, weakly to moderately bicolorous, acuminate to long-acuminate at apex (the acumen more or less inrolled), cordate to sagittate at base, 17--36 cm long (averaging 26 cm), 11--31 cm wide, more or less equal in length to or longer than petiole, margins hyaline, upper surface drying brownish, dark brown, or gray-brown to green, lower surface drying light brownish green to reddish brown or yellowish brown; anterior lobe 11.5--32 cm long, 7--24 cm wide; posterior lobes somewhat spreading, rounded to obtuse, 4--14 cm long, (2.7)4.2--13.5 cm wide, directed toward base or somewhat outward; sinus hippocrepiform, parabolic to arcuate or arcuate with petiole decurrent, 1--6(8) cm deep; midrib broadly convex to shallowly sunken to flat, paler than surface above, convex, paler than surface, drying darker than surface below; basal veins 3--5 per side, with 0--1 free to base, 1--3(4) coalesced (0.7)1.3--4(7) cm; posterior rib naked for 0.5--2.6 cm, sometimes not naked, directed to the tip of the posterior lobe 1--3.5 cm distant from the lower margin of the posterior lobe; primary lateral veins (2)3--4 per side, departing midrib at a 40--60(70º) angle, more or less straight to the margins, streaked reddish below, broadly impressed to shallowly and obtusely sunken above, weakly convex and darker than surface below; minor veins moderately distinct, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins. INFLORESCENCES erect, 1--3(4) per axil; peduncle 3.5--29 cm long, 8--12 mm diam., medium green, glossy, faintly white-striate near apex; spathe glossy, 7.5--18 cm long, 1.4--2.2 cm diam., weakly constricted midway above the tube, 1.9--2.2 mm diam. at constriction; spathe blade creamy-white to pale green or creamy-yellow, sometimes tinged faintly reddish outside, 6--7 cm long, 2.2--3.2 cm diam., (opening 6.7--9 cm long, 3.2 cm wide), whitish (at anthesis) to creamy-yellow inside, sometimes suffused with red; resin canals orange and appearing as continuous lines at least around the throat inside; spathe tube medium to dark green and light maroon band near base, sometimes weakly to heavily tinged reddish (B & K Red-Purple 5/7.5), white-striate outside, 5--7.5 cm long, 2--3.6 cm diam., reddish to dark maroon (B & K red-purple 2/10) inside; spadix sessile; more or less tapered toward apex, 6.7--11.1 cm long, broadest at or near the base, protruding strongly or weakly out of the spathe blade at anthesis; pistillate portion weakly tapered toward both ends, light green to yellowish green, (2.5)3.4--4.3 cm long in front, 2.9--3.8 cm long in back, 7--13 mm diam. at apex, 1--14 mm diam. at middle, 1--12 mm wide at base; staminate portion 5--8.4 cm long; fertile staminate portion white or light green, 10--11 mm diam. throughout, of nearly uniform diameter throughout or broadest in upper one-third, 9--13 mm diam. at base, 10--11 mm diam. at middle, 7--9 mm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex, broadest usually at the base, narrower than the pistillate portion, narrower than the sterile portion; sterile staminate portion as broad as the pistillate portion, (pre-anthesis) white to light gray, 9--14 mm diam.; pistils 1.1--2.3(3.5) mm long, 0.7--2 mm diam.; ovary (5)6--7-locular, 0.6--1.5(2) mm long, 0.8--1.3(1.6) mm diam., with sub-basal placentation; locules 0.7--1.1(2) mm long, 0.3--0.6 mm diam.; ovule sac 0.7--0.9 mm long; ovules 1--2 per locule, 2-seriate, contained within transparent, gelatinous ovule sac, 0.3--0.5 mm long, slightly longer than funicle; funicle 0.2--0.3 mm long, (can be pulled free to base), style 0.3--1.2 mm long, 0.8--1.6 mm diam., similar to style type B; style apex flat to shallowly rounded or concave; stigma brushlike to discoid or subdiscoid, purplish violet or golden honey-colored, 1--1.5 mm diam., 0.2--0.4 mm high, covering more or less entire style apex; the androecium truncate, prismatic, margins irregularly 4--6-sided, 1--1.7 mm long, 0.7--1.5(2.7) mm diam. at apex; thecae oblong, 0.4--0.5 mm wide, more or less parallel to one another; sterile staminate flowers blunt, irregular, dense, 4--6-sided, prismatic, 1.5--2(2.5--3.3) mm long, (1.2)1.5--1.6(2) mm wide. INFRUCTECENCE: Berries pale to bright orange (white, immature); seeds yellow-orange, narrowly ellipsoid.


This species is a highly versatile species ecologically, ranging from Premontane rain forest, Tropical Lower Montane wet forest, and Tropical Lower Montane rain forest in the highlands to Premontane wet forest and Tropical wet forest life zones in the lowlands.


Ranges from northern Costa Rica to the Canal Area of 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 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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