From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.06.18 at 14:55:11(4823)
This question had me stumped for a while, so I had to give it some thought.
Wish that one of the other 'big guns' on the genus Philodendron would pitch
in, they are the experts! Anyway, here goes with my 'best opinion'!!
These two species ( P. goeldii and P. solimoesense ) do not grow as vines,
for as you say they grow shrub-like high in the canopy. While on this same
trip we did observe two other species of Philodendron that may fit the bill
for you, they were P. linnaei and P. melinonii. They both start off after
germination as a climbing vine, then when they find a suitable spot, they
stop growing as a vine and change into a 'birds nest' form of growth, their
baskets or nests of leaves catching the falling leaves and other garbage as
nutrients for their arboreal root systems. I did not observe any large
roots extending from these 'birds nests'-type of Philodendron trying to
reach the ground, they seemed dependant on their 'nests' to catch the
falling leaves as nutrients. SO--though I did not observe this myself, I
see no reason why a seed of a species like one of these could NOT be
deposited and germinate in a suitable tree crotch or hole in a trunk, then
the seedling would grow to a suitable point on the trunk or branch, where it
would then grow into the birds nest shape, needing no contact with the
I also thing that more observations on the vine-type species of
Philodendron, Monstera and the like would be in order, as though many grow
upward as vines/climbers after germinating on the ground (or even maybe in a
tree-hole or higher crotch in a tree), many or all that I can think of still
send their roots downward to the soil for water and nutrients, seemingly
unlike the birds-nest species I mentioned.
Hope the above speculation is of help!.