Within our collection we have many species of Philodendron. If you are seeking other photos, click this link
The specimen in our photos is
likely Philodendron albovirescens
Sodiro ex Croat
The first known collection of P. albovirescens was many years ago by Jesuit priest Luis Sodiro. Sodiro served in Ecuador in the late 1800's through the turn of the 20th century and described 281 taxa of Ecuadorian Araceae, mostly Anthurium species. As a result, Dr. Croat used the name Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat since the name was an unpublished name originally credited to Sodiro.
best information available indicates Philodendron albovirescens
was first collected in modern times in the early 1980's by
several collectors. The highly respected late Lynn
Hannon who is renowned as a self taught taxonomy expert and
other well known collectors again collected P. albovirescens in
the mid 1990's.
Interestingly, our specimen was reportedly collected in Ecuador. In one of his personal notes Dr. Croat indicated the leaf blades of Philodendron albovirescens have cross veins which are moderately weak and irregularly spaced as well as not strictly parallel. He also indicated the veins are closely and often irregularly spaced. As a result there is now a great deal of doubt our specimen is truly Philodendron corrugatum even though it was exported directly from Ecuador and was sold with a tag stating the plant was in fact Philodendron corrugatum. Instead, our specimen is likely a related species within the complex known as Philodendron albovirescens due to specific characteristics which do not match well to Dr. Croat's published field notes of P. corrugatum. The differences include narrowly canaliculate (canal-like or "C" shaped) petioles as well as what appears to be pubescence (hair) on the petiole near the apex as well as the mid and basal ribs near the sinus. The color of the cataphyll and other differences also appear to be apparent but may be explainable due to the age of the cataphyll. These differences do appear to match well to the known characteristics of Philodendron albovirescens.
As Dr. Croat stated, there are apparently at least four species (possibly five) that appear similar in form and as a result are in the same complex. Based on information from a knowledgeable collector who has personally observed these specimens in Ecuador, at one time two similar species grew together along the first part of the road that originally was used as the Lita to San Lorenzo road. Philodendron albovirescens was apparently not observed anywhere else in the area and is likely very limited in distribution. It is now highly doubtful many specimens remain along this road because the area has been somewhat destroyed and experts familiar with the area indicate the road is almost impassable. One of the two species that were similar was also less rugose having fewer coarse reticulated lines. Lita is south of the border with Colombia and northwest of Quito while San Lorenzo is west of Lita.
As a result, I now believe the plant in our collection likely originated from the Lita area and is the specimen in this complex known as Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat. My primary reason for this belief is none of the other species in the complex posses the majority of those characteristic. Dr. Croat has reviewed our photos and has determined it is not P. corrugatum and is very likely P. albovirescens.
Philodendron albovirescens grows as a terrestrial species as well as a hemiepiphyte (hem-a-EPA-fit) while Philodendron corrugatum grows both as an epiphyte (ep-a-FIT) and a terrestrial species. A hemiepiphyte is a species that may begin life as either a terrestrial or epiphytic species and either climb a host tree or grow downwards to set root in the soil. An epiphyte is a plant that does not necessarily grow on the ground while it both climbs and grows upon another plant, normally a tree. An epiphyte is capable of never having its roots reach soil since the seeds are placed on the branches of a tree in the droppings of a bird or animal that has eaten the fruit of a species.
The leaf blades of both species are subcoriaceous (thin) and the blades are matte in appearance as well as dark green on the adaxial or upper blade surface. With rugose venation (veins), the blades of each possess a rough wrinkled surface with coarse reticulated lines easily observed. On our specimen the adaxial (upper) surface is somewhat bicolorous (two colored). The venation (vein structure) is extremely reticulate and the primaries are not perfectly parallel as well as somewhat wavy which makes it strange in the genus Philodendron. Philodendron species should have primary veins that are parallel. On page 169 of the scientific text The Genera of Araceae by Mayo, Bogner and Boyce you can read this quote regarding the characteristics of the genus Philodendron: "primary lateral veins pinnate, rarely pedate. running into marginal vein, secondary lateral and higher venation parallel-pinnate, sometimes tertiaries and higher veins transversely reticulate between secondaries, sometimes all veins slender with no distinct primary laterals." The photos at the bottom of this page reveal that our specimen has primaries that are distinctly curved in opposing directions. You can view charts showing normal Philodendron venation on page 171, "C". In order to compare the venation of our specimen also see to the illustrations on page 168 "A" for Spathacarpa venation.
This unusual characteristic was brought to my attention by my close friend and aroid expert Julius Boos after his examination of the photos on this page. Since Philodendron albovirescens was collected, grown and closely examined by Lynn Hannon, Julius had the opportunity to see the specimen in her personal collection as well as in the collection of the late Dr. Monroe Birdsey. Both Lynn and Dr. Birdsey brought the unusual venation to Julius' attention and were surprised to find this unusual characteristic on the specimen.
the leaf veins of both species are prominently sunken on the
upper surface but raised on
the abaxial (underside).
smaller veins on the underside are both prominent and
perpendicular to the major veins within P. corrugatum.
veins of our plant do not always appear to run perpendicular to
the primaries and are at least somewhat irregular
and curved. See the
extreme close-up photos at the bottom of this page for a
The stems of our plant
measure up to approximately 4 cm in diameter and the internodes
2 to 3 cm long.
The first measurement is slightly higher than published by Dr.
Croat for Philodendron corrugatum. An internode is a
segment of the stem between two nodes while the nodes are where
leaves may emerge. In botany the stem is not the support
for a leaf as is often thought by collector/growers but
instead is the base of the plant. The petioles which
support the leaves are stalk-like and grow from nodes along the
The internodes, which are the stem segments between two nodes,
separate the nodes. Detailed photos can be seen at the
right, above and at the left, below.
In addition to the pheromones the beetle is apparently attracted to the inflorescence by a bright "glow" visible to the beetle's antennae or some unknown sensor on its body (but not the eyes) as a result of the infrared heat produced during anthesis which causes the temperature of the spathe and spadix to increase significantly during sexual anthesis. Infrared heat is not visible to the human eye but is easily visible to many insects. The infrared heat can easily be felt on the open palm of your hand if held at close range to the spathe during anthesis. Once the female flowers are pollinated by the beetle carrying pollen on its legs and body from another plant of the same species the Philodendron will produce berries containing seeds The inflorescence of Philodendron corrugatum has a spathe that is green to cream on the outer surface but is red inside the spathe's tube with pink inside at places. The spadix is pale yellow. No information is currently available regarding the coloration of the spathe of Philodendron albovirescens. As yet no inflorescence has not been observed on our specimen.
For a more through explanation of the sexual reproduction of aroid species read this link: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Natural%20and%20artificial%20pollination%20in%20aroids.html
At present, we are striving to collect additional data for Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat as well as Philodendron corrugatum Croat in an effort to further update the information on both species.
Dr. Croat has indicated our specimen is very likely Philodendron albovirescens.
Want to learn more about aroids?