Within our collection we have many species of Philodendron. If you are seeking other photos, click this link
Philodendron panduriforme (Kunth) Kunth
Synonym: Philodendron latilobum, Pothos panduriformis
Sometimes incorrectly associated with Philodendron bipennifolium
Looking for Philodendron bipennifolium?
Go here: Philodendron bipennifolium
Philodedendron panduriforme ranges throughout the northern and western areas of the Amazon basin. Information from aroid botanist Dr. Tom Croat of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis indicates Philodendron panduriforme occurs in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, and portions of Venezuela, but is limited in Venezuela to the region of Cerro Yapacana. Dr. Croat writes, "I do not have it in my Flora of Guianas checklist", indicating the species is not found within the northeastern portion of South America known as the Guiana Shield. I found that observation valuable since one French government website apparently incorrectly indicates the species is found in French Guiana. As a result, I contacted Dutch naturalist Joep Moonen (pronounced yupe) who lives and works in the rain forests of French Guiana for a confirmation. Joep assured me the species is not found in the rain forests of that country.
Philodendron species are known to be highly variable and not every leaf of every specimen will always appear the same. This link explains in greater detail the scientific principle of natural variation and morphogenesis. Natural variation in aroids.
With the upper lobes curving outwards and downwards, the species is known to botany as a scandent (climbing) vine. The low climbing hemiepiphytic Philodendron panduriforme is typically found at elevations between 120 to 150 meters (350 to 480 feet) above sea level but may occasionally be found up to 500 (1600 feet) meters in elevation. Hemiepiphytic species are plants that grow upon other plants but may begin life as a seed placed on a tree's branch by a bird or grow upwards from the soil, climbing a tree, as a seed dropped on the ground. Birds commonly eat the fruit berries of numerous Philodendron sp. and then deposit the seeds on the tree in their droppings. Growers typically assume all plants grow in soil, but in the rain forest that is far from true. Many more species grow climbing and clinging to the trees than in the soil.
Please note: all color photos on this page are of juvenile or sub-adult specimens. Only the black and white photos of Dr. Tom Croat show an adult specimen. When fully grown, the three lobes are normally of similar size. However, within the species, there are two variations, the more common Philodendron panduriforme var. panduriforme and Philodendron panduriforme var. reichenbachianum. Although numerous collectors would rather believe any plant with a form that does not perfectly match the norm must be a separate, or new, species, in reality numerous species, especially aroids, have multiple forms. Plants are not unlike humans who may have many body shapes (tall, short, fat, skinny) and skin colorations but are still all the same species. Those additional forms are however sometimes distinctive enough to be granted a "variation" name.
With leaf blades that are generally coriacious (leathery), the normal form of Philodendron panduriforme is distinguished from Philodendron panduriforme var. reichenbachianum since the latter possesses proportionally broader blades ranging from 1.1 to 1.9 times longer than broad with an average blade of 1.3 times longer than broad. The lateral lobes of Philodendron panduriforme var. reichenbachianum are proportionally much shorter.
All Philodendron species are aroids. An aroid is a plant that reproduces by producing an inflorescence known to science as a spathe and spadix. Many believe the spathe is a "flower" but it is not. The spathe is simply a modified leaf appearing to be a hood . When an aroid is referred to as "flowering" the reference is to the very small female, male and sterile flowers found on the spadix. The reference to "flowering" has nothing to do with the spathe. The inflorescence, which is sometimes shaped like a tube is the spathe and inside that is the spadix. When ready to reproduce, the spadix produces both male, female and sterile flowers which if pollinated will produce the berries containing seeds.
The spathes of Philodendron panduriforme grow in pairs and are pale green tinged with red containing a creamy inside.
Philodendron panduriforme is often confused with a totally different species, Philodendron bipennifolium. Many collectors believe P. bipennifolium is actually P. panduriforme. If you do an internet search for Philodendron panduriforme you will almost certainly find websites which direct you to Philodendron bipennifolium or include "panduriforme" in parenthesis at the end of the name. Sellers, especially on eBay, often sell Philodendron bipennifolium and call it Philodendron panduriforme. They also often sell many species and wrongly try to pass them as Philodendron panduriforme. The confusing factor appears to be P. bipennifolium has more than one growth form, especially when young. I've had several collectors try to insist the main difference in the two species is P. panduriforme has rounded upper pointing lobes while P. bipennifolium has pointed upper lobes. That is only partially correct since the species look nothing alike. According to Dr. Croat that notion is simply incorrect.
Many aroid collectors believe Philodendron panduriforme is nothing more than an old name for Philodendron bipennifolium. But if you do a check of the major botanical databases such as IPNI (the International Plant Names Index) or TROPICOS (a service of the Missouri Botanical Garden), or any major botanical data base in the world that belief is unsupported. Unfortunately, if you attempt to look up Philodendron panduriforme in the noted aroid text Aroids, Plants of the Arum Family by author Deni Bown you will also be redirected to the description of Philodendron bipennifolium. That appears to be simply an error in the original manuscript. According to Dr. Croat, the two species are not one and the same and are distinctly different.
Dr. Croat and I often exchange email regarding a variety of aroid species. In an exchange in June, 2007, Dr. Croat wrote, "Philodendron panduriforme is a distinct species which is merely 3-lobed. See Aroideana volume 9, I believe where I published the Araceae of Venezuela. Philodendron bipennifolium does not resemble P. panduriforme at all and is surely unrelated." The black and white photos shown here are from that journal. Regardless of common beliefs among plant collectors, the species are neither similar, nor related.
With the assistance of aroid expert Julius Boos and the treasurer of the International Aroid Society, Tricia Frank, I was able to obtain a copy of the IAS journal Aroideana, Volume 9 which was printed in 1986. Out of print copies of Aroideana can often be ordered directly from the International Aroid Society: http://www.aroid.org/ As is obvious from Dr. Croat's photos, reprinted here with permission, the photos published in that journal bears no resemblance to Philodendron bipennifolium.
My friend Julius, who is an expert in aroid species, provided a description of P. panduriforme which helps to clarify the differences. Julius wrote, "They look nothing alike, and could never be confused as the same species. P. panduriforme has a shallow lobed blade w/ three shallow lobes, rounded tips to the lobes, and no more then scallops that do not go deep or anywhere near the main veins, while in the photo of P. bipennifolium the divisions in the blade seem deeply cut with pointed sections, and 'cuts' almost or to the main veins."
Read the description of Philodendron bipennifolium here: Philodendron bipennifolium
Want to learn more about aroids?
To join the International Aroid Society click here: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Join%20IAS.html
Out of print copies of Aroideana can often be ordered directly from the International Aroid Society: http://www.aroid.org/