Aroids and other genera in the Collection      Take the Tour Now?     Orchids

The Exotic Rainforest
Plants in the Exotic Rainforest Collection

    Syngonium podophyllum Schott

Syngonium podophyllum Schott
Arrowhead Vine, Goosefoot Plant

An aroid, Syngonium species and hybrids are members of the large family known to science as Araceae (uh-RAY-see ee)
The genus is distantly related to Philodendron sp., Anthurium sp., Alocasia sp. and all the other members of the group known to collectors as aroids.  If you've got room for them to run, Syngonium will run.  If you've got room for them to climb, Syngonium will climb.  If you like red, there are reds.  If you like green, there's green.  If you like the colors all mixed, there are all kinds of hybrid variegated mixtures!  But you need to know this group of plants is highly variable.  They literally change shape and color as they grow!  The species Syngonium podophyllum is a perennial vine that is native to Mexico, Panama and as far south as Ecuador. 

The leaves of the hybridized varieties of the Syngonium you frequently at any nursery can reach up to 1 foot (30 cm) in length.  An easy plant to grow and maintain, this tropical beauty will grow in a pot, a hanging basket, a terrarium, a vivarium, and even outdoors if you live in a warm climate. 

This Philodendron relative will spread to cover just about any area available.  If you've got a log or a tree for your Syngonium hybrids to climb, they will definitely run upwards.  We've seen them climb as high as almost 4 meters (12 feet) in on the center post of our atrium (see photo, right).  And as you can see in the photo, these plants change both their shape and color as they climb.  The species is capable of producing a "flower" which is known in science as an inflorescence.  That inflorescence is not really a "flower", but is instead, a group of flowers.  The spathe surrounding the center of the inflorescence is nothing more than a modified leaf.

According to Dr. Tom Croat of the Missouri Botanical Garden all Syngonium species are hemiepiphytes (hem-a-EPA-fit).  A hemiepiphyte is a plant that can begin life as a seed dropped on the ground then climb any host tree, post or suitable support.  It can also begin life as a seed ingested by a bird then deposited on a tree branch in the bird's droppings and grow downwards toward the ground eventually placing roots in the soil. 

Those plants typically available for sale are hybrid variations of Syngonium podophyllum and not any true species.  We began with 4 different hybrid variations and now have more variegated varieties than can be easily counted.  Within our Exotic Rainforest many Syngonium plants can be found climbing the center post.  They even run across the face of our waterfall. 

Extremely hardy, Syngonium plants easily becomes invasive, especially in southern Florida.  Starting a new plant is as simple as taking a cutting and placing it in a pot with well draining soil.  We have observed our Syngonium podophyllum hybrids prefer bright indirect light and have now managed to reach your epiphytic lob which is attached to the very top of our center support.  To see our epiphytic log click this link.

Approximately one in every plant species known to science is naturally variable, not every leaf will appear the same.  For an easy to understand explantion of natural variation within plant species, click this link.


Back to Plants in Collection