Syngonium Schott
  • Wiener Z. Kunst 3: 780 (1829) 

Notes: Distribution: Mexico to Trop. America

General Description

Latex milky. HABIT : root-climbing or shortly creeping, evergreen herbs, internodes short to elongate, green. LEAVES : numerous. PETIOLE : sheath long. BLADE : at maturity cordate, oblong-cordate, lanceolate, sagittate, trifid to trisect, pedatifid to pedatisect, rarely pinnatifid, when juvenile entire, ovate to sagittate or cordate-sagittate or hastate; basal ribs usually well-developed, primary lateral veins pinnate, usually forming a submarginal collective vein, 1-2 distinct marginal veins also present, or sometimes primaries long-arcuate and running into margin (e.g. S. schottianum), secondary laterals ± parallel to primaries, higher order venation reticulate to transverse-reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : 1-8 in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : much shorter than petiole, erect at anthesis, pendent in fruit. SPATHE : strongly constricted between tube and blade, tube convolute, ovoid-ellipsoid, or cylindric or globose, sometimes ventricose, persistent, blade usually cream, boat-shaped to expanded at anthesis, erect to spreading, usually marcescent after anthesis, later deciduous. SPADIX : sessile, much shorter than spathe, female zone cylindric to conoid, separated from male zone by zone of sterile flowers, sterile zone constricted, male zone clavate to cylindric or ellipsoid, longer than female zone, fertile to apex. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-4-androus, stamens connate, synandrium obpyramidal, truncate to rounded at apex, often deeply lobed, common connective thick, overtopping anthers, thecae linear, dehiscing by apical pore or short slit. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ellipsoid-oblong to spherical or subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean 48 µm., range 34-75 µm.), exine minutely fossulate or verruculate, narrowly rugulate and minutely scabrate, spinose or tuberculate. STERILE MALE FLOWERS : ± prismatic synandrodes. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecia connate, rarely ± free at anthesis and becoming connate later (S. steyermarkii) , ovary obovoid or oblong-obovoid, (1-)2(-3)-locular, ovules 1(-2) per locule, anatropous, funicle short, placenta axile near septum base to parietal-basal, stylar region as broad as ovary and ± truncate or very slightly attenuate, stigma discoid or 2-lobed, rarely globose, discoid-capitate or cup-shaped, narrower than ovary. BERRIES : connate, forming ovoid to ellipsoid, usually brown, sometimes white, fleshy syncarp, usually exposed at maturity by opening of persistent orange, yellow, red or violet spathe tube. SEED : ovoid to ellipsoid, rather large, testa smooth, thin, black or dark brown, shiny, embryo large, ellipsoid to subglobose, endosperm absent.

Diagnostic Description

Evergreen, climbing hemiepiphytes with milky latex, sometimes creeping on the ground in submature growth, internodes long; leaf blade cordate, sagittate or hastate to pedatisect or rarely pinnatifid, usually with submarginal collective vein, fine venation reticulate; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; male flowers connate into truncate synandrium; berries connate into indehiscent syncarp.


Tropical humid forest and disturbed areas; climbing epiphytes and hemiepiphytes, creeping when juvenile.


Mexico to Trop. America.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Tropical Malesia Borneo
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Central
  • Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Northeast
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Caribbean Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Venezuelan Antilles
  • Central America Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
Introduced into
  • Africa Western Indian Ocean Chagos Archipelago
  • Seychelles
  • Asia-Tropical Malesia Malaya
  • Papuasia Bismarck Archipelago
  • Northern America Southeastern U.S.A. Florida
  • Pacific North-Central Pacific Hawaii
  • Southern America Caribbean Bahamas
  • Cayman Is.
  • Leeward Is.
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Puerto Rico
  • Windward Is.


  • 1 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.
  • 2 Gardens, K.""Royal Bot World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (2008).
  • 3 Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. The Genera of Araceae. (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: 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
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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