Philodendron rhodospathiphyllum Croat & D.C.Bay
  • Novon 18: 444 (2008) 

Notes: Distribution: Colombia

General Description

Hemiepiphytic; stem appressed-climbing; internodes short, densely covered with cataphyll fibers, 0.5–3 x 1–3.5 cm, thicker than broad, pale green, drying medium tan with longitudinal wrinkles; roots several per node, reddish brown, drying medium brown; cataphylls to 20 cm, unribbed, rounded at apex, soft, medium green, drying as pale fibers with reddish brown epidermis, persisting intact at upper nodes, then weathering to pale fibers. LEAVES clustered near apex of stem, spreading to reflexed-spreading; petioles 14–46 cm x 4–8 mm (dry), thicker than broad, sharply and narrowly sulcate adaxially with a faint medial rib, narrowly rounded abaxially, olive-green, firm, drying dark olive-green; geniculum swollen, 5–15 mm, darker in color, drying darker and sometimes wrinkled; blades oblong-elliptic, subcoriaceous, moderately bicolorous, long-acuminate at apex, rounded to truncate, often asymmetric at base, 33.5–63 x 10.5–16 cm, (2.7–)3–4.9x longer than wide, 1.3–2.6(–2.9)x longer than petiole, broadest close to middle, adaxial surface semiglossy, dark green, drying dull olive-green to olive-brown, abaxial surface semiglossy, paler than adaxial surface or yellowish green, drying glossy, light to medium reddish brown; primary lateral veins 14 to 48 per side, 1–3.5 cm apart, spreading from midrib at 45º–65º angles, downturned at midrib, curving upward out to margin, narrowly sunken adaxially, convex and darker than blade abaxially, drying lighter or concolorous adaxially, darker than blade abaxially; basal veins 2 per side, all free to base; interprimary veins often nearly as prominent as primary lateral veins, drying equal in color to primary lateral veins, sometimes with a stitched appearance abaxially; minor veins moderately obscure. INFLORESCENCE erect, 1 to 4 per axil; peduncle 1–4 cm x ca. 5 mm, much shorter than petiole, pale green to white, striate at apex, drying medium brown; spathe 8–13 cm, semiglossy, pale to dark green, white-streaked at base outside, longtapered at apex when immature, constricted above tube; spathe blade 6–8 cm, medium green to yellowgreen inside; spathe tube 2–5 cm, dark green outside, medium green inside; spadix cylindrical, 7–9 cm; pistillate portion pale yellow-green, 3.7 cm long on one side, 4.5 cm long on the other side, 1.6 cm diam. midway (dry); staminate portion white, slightly ellipsoid, 6–8 cm, to 11 mm diam. (dry); sterile staminate portion to 1 cm, 6–8 mm diam. (dry), slightly narrower than pistillate and fertile staminate portions; pistils 3.2–3.4 x 2.3–3 mm; ovary 6- to 7-locular, ovules with axile placentation, about 22 per locule. INFRUCTESCENCE with white (immature) berries.

Diagnostic Description

The species is a member of the subgenus Philodendron, section Philodendron, subsection Canniphyllum and is characterized by its hemiepiphytic habit with leaves clustered near the top and usually held in a reflexed-spreading position, very short internodes obscured by pale cataphyll fibers, and oblong-elliptic leaf blades, truncate or rounded at the base, appearing very similar to those of the genus Rhodospatha, hence its epithet. Also characteristic is the long-tapered inflorescence with a white-striate spathe, green inside and out. Philodendron rhodospathiphyllum can be confused with P. heterocraspedon especially as a dried herbarium specimen. The latter species differs in having pendent longer and narrower blades usually drying much darker reddish brown. It also has more, closer primary lateral veins that curve upward at more acute angles. In addition, its inflorescences are longer (16–22 cm long as compared to 8–13 cm long in P. rhodospathiphyllum) and very pale green to white with the inside of the tube cherry-red.


It occurs in Tropical rain forest transition to Premontane (T-rf/P) and has been collected in older regrowth and primary forest.


Philodendron rhodospathiphyllum is endemic to Colombia and is known from the western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental, in the Bajo Calima region, from 40 to 100 m, and from the valley of the Río Dagua up to 710 m.


IUCN Red List category. Conservation for Philodendron rhodospathiphyllum must be considered as Near Threatened (NT) according to IUCN Red List criteria (IUCN, 2001). Although locally common in the Bajo Calima region, it is not yet known from other sites in Colombia.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Western South America Colombia


  • 1 Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update. Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 Croat, T.B., Bay, D.C. & Yates, E.D. New Species of Philodendron (Araceae) from Bajo Calima, Colombia. Novon; a Journal for Botanical Nomenclature. St. Louis, MO 18, 452 (2008).

 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
  • D See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.