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The Exotic Rainforest
Plants in the Exotic Rainforest Collection
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In depth information on how to grow Philodendron species, Click this Link

Within our collection we have many species of Philodendron.  If you are seeking other photos, click this link:

Philodendron barrosoanum G.S. Bunting

Philodendron barrosoanum, Photo Copyright 2008, Brian Williams, Brian's Botanicals 

Philodendron barrosoanum G.S. Bunting
Philodendron levelii, Philodendron milleri

Common name: Cow Faced Philodendron

Philodendron barrosoanum was described to science in 1964.  The Philodendron is found in Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, portions of the Guiana Shield, Peru and Brazil.  

Philodendron barrosoanum is a hemiepiphytic climber which scientifically means it may either begin life Philodendron barrosoanum, Photo Copyright 2007, Enid Offolter, Natural Selections Exoticsas an epiphyte (ep-a-FIT) from a seed deposited on the branch of a tree by a bird or rainforest animal in their droppings and grow its roots down to the ground.  A hemiepiphyte (hem-a-EPA-fit) may also begin life in the soil and grow up the side of a tree.  Philodendron barrosoanum is found at an elevation of 100 to 1000 meters (330 to 3300 feet) and is known for its large tri-lobed leaf blades and terete (roundl) petioles.  The petiole is the portion of the plant that supports the leaf blade and is often referred to as a stem.  The true stem is the base of the plant.

The leaf blades of Philodendron barrosoanum are sub-coriaceous (less than leather) and semi-glossy.  Philodendron barrosoanum is extremely variable in appearance (see all photos for a comparison) and the leaf blade may take on a variety of forms.  Philodendron species often take on more than one blade shape as a result of morphogenesis and natural variation.   One variation is capable of becoming substantially larger with an Philodendron barrosoanum juvenile, Photo copyright 2008, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comelongated lower lobe.  The tri-lobed leaf of P. barrosoanum is reported to have a spread up to approximately 46cm (18 inches), however juvenile specimens do not have the large lobes until they mature (see photo left). 

All Philodendron species are aroids. An aroid is a plant that reproduces by producing an inflorescence known to science as a spathe and spadix. Most people believe the spathe is a "flower", it is not. The spathe is simply a specially modified leaf whose purpose is to protect the spadix at the center. On the spadix there can be found very tiny flowers when the plant is at anthesis. When ready to reproduce, the spadix produces male, female and sterile flowers which if pollinated by an appropriate insect, normally a beetle, will produce berries containing seeds 

The inflorescence of Philodendron barrosoanum is solitary (one per axil) and the spathe is both green and moderately glossy.  The interior of the spathe is a pale green but is dark violet purple in the lower half.  At female anthesis the spadix  is  yellow green.  For an explanation of anthesis and pollination, click this link.

Philodendron species are known to be variable and not every leaf of every specimen will always appear the same.  This link explains natural variation and morphogenesis within aroids and other species.  Click here.

My thanks to Brian Williams of Brian's Botanicals and Enid Offolter of Natural Selections Exotics for the use of their photographs.

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