Within our collection we have many species of Philodendron. If you are seeking other photos, click this link
Identified to science in 1883, According to the published field notes of aroid botanist Dr. Thomas B. Croat Ph.D., P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis Philodendron mamei is a creeping species that grows over the ground. To a botanist, such a creeping plant species is known as being "repent", however, Philodendron mamei has been infrequently observed by field botanists growing as an epiphyte (ep-a-FIT). And epiphytic species is one that grows upon another plant, normally a tree.
Since Philodendron mamei is a terrestrial species it is commonly found on steep banks with its caudex found creeping across the surface. The caudex is the main stem which may be woody and thickened in mature specimens. In botany the stem is not the support for any single leaf as is often thought by collector/growers, but instead is the stem which is the base of the plant. The petioles which support the leaves grow from nodes along the stem's length. The internodes, which are the stem segments between two nodes, are short. On a fully mature specimen the stems can measure approximately 1 meter (3 feet) in length.
Near the top of the petioles of Philodendron mamei (which are the supports for each individual leaf, see illustration, right, for an explanation of the location of the stem, petioles and nodes) are sub-terete which means less than round and slightly flattened on the underside. The underside of any plant surface is known as the abaxial surface while the upper surface is known as the adaxial surface. The edges of the petioles have an acute marginal rib. Anything in botany described as "acute" simply means that part gradually tapers to a point. The petioles of Philodendron mamei are medium to olive green in color with pale lines and are broadly convex on the upper and lower surface. The petioles are striated which means they have grooves which run closely together along the petiole's surface. The petioles may also be reddish near the base, Juvenile specimens of Philodendron mamei may be undulated (wavy) as well as possess a somewhat "D" shaped petiole. The "D" shape can be observed if the petiole is cut in half and viewed as a cross section.
Philodendron mamei has been stated in some internet material to grow leaf blades up to 1 meter (3 feet) in width, however the average specimen will possess leaves of approximately 25 to 45cm (10 to 18 inches) in size depending on the care given to the specimen. The leaves of Philodendron mamei are thin and are scientifically considered to be sub-coriaceous which means less than leathery to the touch. The leaf blades are semi-glossy on the upper (adaxial) leaf surface.
If the underside of a leaf blade is examined the lower surface (abaxial)
will be seen to be much paler in color and only slightly glossy.
The mid-rib at the blade's center
is flat on the upper surface but is convex on the underside. The primary lateral
leaf veins of
Philodendron mamei are sunken on the adaxial
(upper) surface but are convex on the underside while the minor veins
are only moderately visible
on the underside.
species are aroids.
aroid is a plant that reproduces through the production of an inflorescence and the
major parts of that inflorescence are known as a spathe and spadix. Many
growers believe the spathe is a "flower"
but that is inaccurate since the
spathe is nothing more than a modified leaf
appearing to be a
is to protect the spadix at its center. If you
explore the inflorescence with a strong magnifying glass when it
first reaches female anthesis (sexual reproduction) and is beginning to open you can find very tiny flowers (both
male, sterile male, and female) found on the spadix.
The female flowers are securely hidden inside the floral chamber at
the lower extreme of the spadix and are the first to open. If
the female flowers are pollinated with the pollen brought by an
appropriate insect from
another specimen of Philodendron mamei
currently has the male flowers at male anthesis and producing pollen the spadix
will produce seeds. In Philodendron species pollination is almost
always done by a Cyclocephala beetle species of which there
are approximately 900 species (approximately one half are identified
to science), The illustration to the right is not the
inflorescence of Philodendron mamei and is used only to illustrate the parts
of a Philodendron inflorescence.
For a more complete explanation of pollination in aroid species, please read this link: Aroid pollination
At one time Philodendron mamei was both rare and expensive but due to the use of "tissue culture" in plant propagation Philodendron mamei has become common. Tissue cultured plants do not necessarily achieve the size nor beauty of a wild collected specimen due to the chemical processes used in their cloning. Tissue culture is simply the cloning of another plant but the chemicals used are known to cause changes in the appearance, growth rate, and size of a specimen. Websites that claim to sell a "super sized" variation of this species are selling only a normal specimen (almost always cloned) of Philodendron mamei since the size of a specimen has nothing to do with a species' variation.
Philodendron species are known to be highly variable and not every leaf of every specimen will always appear the same. This link explains in non-technical language natural variation and morphogenesis within aroids and other species. Click here.
Philodendron mamei prefers bright but indirect sunlight and does not do well in temperatures much below 12.75 C (55 degrees F). If exposed to colder temperatures Philodendron mamei may simply stop growing, reduce in size or just vanish. A specimen should be planted in very fast draining soil that is kept evenly damp but never soggy.
The base information found in
this article was taken from the published field notes of aroid botanist
Dr. Thomas B. Croat Ph.D., P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany at the
Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO, as well as from
TROPICOS, an on-line service of the Missouri Botanical Garden. All
photographs (unless otherwise noted) are the copyrighted property of
Photography Copyright 2008, Steve Lucas.
Specimens may be available from
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