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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 nangaritense Croat


Philodendron nangaritense Croat, Photo Copyright 2007, Steve Lucas,

Philodendron nangaritense Croat
Philodendron nangaritense Croat petiole, Photo Copyright 2007, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comPhilodendron nangaritense was only recently discovered by Dr. Tom Croat of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.  The unusual creeping Philodendron was found in 2005 in the valley near the Rio Nangaritza in southern Ecuador. 

According to a personal email from Dr. Croat, the species is "yet unpublished owing to the fact that I do not have adequate type specimens."   Dr. Croat went on to explain, "It is terrestrial with a creeping stem.  In this character it is like P. gloriosum, P. plowmanii, P. mamei and other such species. 

Dr. Croat recommended planting the species in the ground, as opposed to a pot, due to the species' need to run.  If you do not live in a tropical area which will allow the species to be planted then use as large a pot as is absolutely possible.

The river where the species was discovered runs close to the border with Peru and the Philodendron appears to be endemic (exclusively found) only in that valley.  As a result, P. nangaritense is currently extremely rare in North American collections. 

Philodendron nangaritense produces ovate, slightly round light green leaves that are reported to exceed 60cm (two feet) in width in the wild.  As of May, 2007, the Philodendron nangaritense Croat new leaf, Photo Copyright 2007, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comlargest leaf of our specimen is currently 30cm (11 3/4 inches). The leaves are only slightly glossy and somewhat thin and quite fragile.  The undersides are matte. 

The most distinctive portion of the species is the extraordinary petiole.  The petioles are a rich red and are covered with small hard tubercles that make the petiole appear fuzzy.  New leaves also unfurl from each side of the blade and exhibit a deep pink with a red petiole as they unfurl.  The exquisite contrast between the green of the leaf and the red petiole is stunning and makes this species an unusual addition to any collection.

Philodendron nangaritense is found only in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe in the southern Ecuadorian rain forests.  Collection elevations were 1130 to 1140 meters (roughly 3500 feet) above sea level.  The species prefers intermediate to warm yet very humid conditions.  Dr. Ron Kaufmann of San Diego reports the species can tolerate temperatures into the mid 50s.  We grow the specimen in a fast draining soil mixture that holds moisture well it drains quickly.  Dr. Kaufmann recommends approximately 50% shade.

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.

If you are seeking information on other rare species, click on "Aroids and other genera in the Collection" at the top and look for the

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