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Tree Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

Tree Philodendron ( Philodendron bipinnatifidum )

Order : Frog-spoon-like (Alismatales)
Family : Arum family (Araceae)
Subfamily : Aroideae
Tribe : Philodendreae
Genre : Philodendrons
Scientific name of the  tribe
Scientific name of the  genus

The Philodendrons ( Philodendron ), also Baumfreund called, are the only genus of the tribe Philodendreae in the subfamily aroideae within the plant family of Araceae (Araceae). The philodendron species mostly come from neotropical rainforests from the US state of Florida via Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean islands to tropical South America.


Illustration of Philodendron ornatum from Curtis's Botanical Magazine , 1873

In Philodendron TYPES is evergreen, perennial herbaceous plants , which, as the root climbers epiphytic can grow or bush-shaped. They can reach heights of up to 6 meters. The leathery, glossy leaves can be simple, pinnate or pinnately split; they are egg-shaped, elongated, heart-shaped, arrow-shaped or broad spear-shaped, with entire margins or serrated and are alternate, on long stem axes or in rosettes. The inflorescences consist of the single bract ( spathe ), which is typical of the arum family, and a piston ( spadix ).

Ecology and toxicity

Philodendron pinnatifidum from Curtis's Botanical Magazine , 1872

Philodendrons can generate a higher temperature than the outside temperature. At 4 ° C , the temperature in the closed inflorescences of Philodendron bipinnatifidum, for example, is up to 38 ° C. Due to the higher temperature, the fragrances of the flowers flow out better, similar to a fragrance lamp with evaporating fragrance oil. The philodendron flowers have a carrion-like smell and attract insects to pollinate . The fruits are green and elongated like a cucumber. The ripe fruit interior of some cultivated species tastes like a banana and is layered around a soft core. All parts of the plant cause severe discomfort after consumption, contact with the juice can lead to skin irritation.

Systematics and botanical history

The first species of this genus were collected very early, for example in 1664 by Georg Marcgraf and a little later by Charles Plumier ; Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin should be mentioned for the end of the 17th century . The species collected and described in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries were mostly classified in the genus Arum .

The genus Philodendron was set up in 1829 by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in the Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst, Litteratur, Theater und Mode 1829, 3, p. 780, where it was written “Philodendrum”. Type species is Philodendron grandifolium (Jacq.) Schott , which in 1797 was named Arum grandifolium Jacq. was first published. Schott published in Meletemata Botanica in 1832 a classification system for the Araceae family based on flower characteristics, where he used the correct spelling Philodendron . Philodendron Schott nom. cons. was preserved according to the rules of the ICN (Melbourne ICN Art. 14.11 & App. III) compared to the original spelling “Philodendrum”. The generic name Philodendron is derived from the Greek words philo for love or loving and dendron for tree.

Synonyms for Philodendron Schott are: Arosma Raf. , Baursea (Rchb.) Hoffmanns. ex Kuntze , Calostigma Schott nom. inval., Elopium Schott , Meconostigma Schott , Sphincterostigma Schott , Telipodus Raf. , Thaumatophyllum Schott . Philodendron is the only genus of the tribe Philodendreae in the subfamily Aroideae within the family Araceae .

The genus Philodendron was divided into three subgenus by Mayo 1990: subgenus Meconostigma , subgenus Pteromischum , subgenus Philodendron . Croat divided 1997, the genus Philodendron addition in some sections and subsections: Section Baursia , Section Philopsammos , section Philodendron (with subsections Achyropodium , Canniphyllium , Macrolonchium , Philodendron , Platypodium , Psoropodium , Solenosterigma ), Section Calostigma (with subsections Bulaoana , Eucardium , Glossophyllum , Macrobelium , Oligocarpidium ), Section Tritomophyllum , Section Schizophyllum , Section Polytomium , Section Macrogynium , Section Camptogynium .

Branch axis of the tree philodendron ( Philodendron bipinnatifidum ) with leaf scars and aerial roots
Habit and leaves of Philodendron callosum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron erubescens
Inflorescence of Philodendron fragrantissimum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron gigas
Habit and leaves of Philodendron goeldii
Habit and leaves of Philodendron hederaceum
Longitudinal section through the inflorescence of Philodendron hederaceum (right = below)
Habit and leaves of Philodendron lacerum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron mamei
Philodendron martianum inflorescence
Habit and leaves of Philodendron maximum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron melanochrysum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron perplexum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron quinquenervium
Habit and leaves of Philodendron simsii
Leaf blade of Philodendron verrucosum
Habit and leaves of Philodendron xanadu

Depending on the author, the estimates of the number of species in the philodendron are very different. With Simon J. Mayo 1990 it is 350 to 400 and with Thomas Croat 1997 it is about 700 species.

Here is a list of species based on the Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (as of 2018):


Some are used as ornamental plants for parks and gardens in the tropics to subtropics. Several of them are cultivated as houseplant , for example: climbing philodendron ( Philodendron hederaceum , marketed under the synonym Philodendron scandens ), Philodendron erubescens with many varieties in different leaf colors, for example red-leaved philodendron 'Red Emerald', tree-philodendron or double-split philodendron ( Philodendron bipinnatifidum ), this species also includes the shaggy philodendron, which is also traded as a separate species, Philodendron selloum , heart-leaved philodendron ( Philodendron cordatum ), small-leaved philodendron ( Philodendron grazielae ), frayed tree friend ( Philodendron laciniatum ).

There are also different cultivars. Philodendrons in general are popular because they are easy to cultivate, shade tolerant and fast growing house plants. They are also very suitable for hydroponics .

Effect on the indoor climate

Philodendrons can - similar to the green lily - absorb some living space toxins from the air; this is especially true for the toxins formaldehyde , carbon monoxide and benzene .

Possible confusion between Monstera and Philodendron species

Few species of the genus window leaves ( Monstera ) are rarely traded as Philodendron species, since they were introduced into horticulture at a time when, for example, the botanical name Philodendron pertusum (L.) K.Koch & CDBouché was used for Monstera adansonii Schott . The leaves of some Philodendron species look very similar to those of some Monstera species. The two genera Monstera and Philodendron are counted among different subfamilies of the Araceae family.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Philodendron in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  2. J. Hecker: The Brockhaus children - even more experiments. Science to try out. FA Brockhaus AG, ISBN 978-3-7653-3211-1 .
  3. a b c S. J. Mayo: History and Infrageneric Nomenclature of Philodendron (Araceae). In: Kew Bulletin. Volume 45, Issue 1, 1990, pp. 37-71. doi: 10.2307 / 4114436
  4. ^ Philodendron at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed August 16, 2014.
  5. a b c d Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Philodendron. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  6. ^ Thomas B. Croat: A Revision of Philodendron Subgenus Philodendron (Araceae) for Mexico and Central America. In: Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Volume 84, Issue 3, 1997, pp. 311-704. doi: 10.2307 / 2992022
  7. Monstera adansonii in the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


further reading

  • Mathieu Chouteau, Denis Barabé, Marc Gibernau: A Comparative Study of Inflorescence Characters and Pollen-Ovule Ratios Among the Genera Philodendron and Anthurium (Araceae). In: International Journal of Plant Sciences. Volume 167, Issue 4, 2006, pp. 817-829. doi: 10.1086 / 504925
  • Marie-Pierre L. Gauthier, Denis Barabé, Anne Bruneau: Molecular phylogeny of the genus Philodendron (Araceae): delimitation and infrageneric classification. In: Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. Volume 156, Issue 1, 2008, pp. 13-27. doi: 10.1111 / j.1095-8339.2007.00733.x
  • Roger S. Seymour, Marc Gibernau: Respiration of thermogenic inflorescences of Philodendron melinonii: natural pattern and responses to experimental temperatures. In: Journal of Experimental Botany. Volume 59, Issue 6, 2008, pp. 1353-1362. doi: 10.1093 / jxb / ern042
  • Marc Gibernau, Denis Barabé: Thermogenesis in three Philodendron species (Araceae) of French Guiana. In: Canadian Journal of Botany. Volume 78, Issue 5, 2000, pp. 685-689. doi: 10.1139 / b00-038

For use as a houseplant

  • Christine Recht: Green plants for the room: This is how they thrive best . Gräfe & Unzer, 1999, ISBN 3-7742-1344-5 .
  • Karl-Heinz Jacobi: The colored house book of house plants . BLV, Munich et al. 1999, ISBN 3-405-14902-9 .
  • Walter Erhardt , Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: The great pikeperch. Encyclopedia of Plant Names. Volume 2. Types and varieties. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7 .

Web links

Commons : Philodendron  - collection of images, videos and audio files