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  'Self-heading' Philodendrons.
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.09.04 at 08:03:54(7333)
Hello Friends,

Just a quick note, I am trying to determine if anyone in the group has in
their collection plants of a few of the rarer, smaller 'self-heading' group
of Philodendron, section Meconostigma. The best-know species belonging to
this group is the ubiquitous and giant P. bipinnatifidium or P. 'selloum' in
the trade, P. goeldii, and P. williamsii.
[All of these species are generally available for sale at the IAS show in
Miami later this month, and there will be plant specimens grown from seed of
another giant of this group, P. solimoesense, collected in Fr. Guyane at
auction later this month at the annual IAS show and sale in Miami, don`t
miss it!!]
I am particularly interested in hearing from anyone that has plants of P.
leal-costae, a species whose leaves resemble that of another species in this
group, the much larger P. goeldii, the 'Scheff.-leafed' Philodendron. P.
leal-costae is smaller, and grows in nature in very dry areas of E. Brazil,
it puts out specialized roots that seek out water in the leaf-'cups' of
bromileads amongst which it grows. Friends tell me that it did not
survive in their collections, but I read that there are specimens growing at
Burle Marx`s collection in Brazil and perhaps Kew, and I THINK I heard that
there may be a few in collections around Miami? Two other species I`d love
to find are the small Brazilian species P. saxicolum and the closely related
P. adamantinum, both have deeply divided pinnatifid leaves, but P.
adamantinum has much deeper divisions, reaching almost down to the peduncles
attachment. Photos of these last two species can be seen in Aroideana Vol.
1, No.1 of 1978 ( ! ) , and of P. adamantinum in the recent issue, Aroideana
Vol. 23 of 2000. I have also had the pleasure of seeing a beautiful old
plant of P. saxicolum at Selby Gardens. I was wondering if anyone had
imported seed of any of these species in the more or less recent purchase of
Aroid seed from Brazil, and if anyone did manage to grow any plants to
maturity from this imported seed?
Another question--- in the article in Vol.23, ( "Araceae of campos rupestres
from Espinhaco Range in Minas Gerais State, Brazil", by C. M. Sakuragui, pg.
56.) I am somewhat confused by the illustrations of the pistilate flowers of
a couple of the Philodendrons being discussed, namely P. cipoense and P.
biribiriense, these illustrations do not allow me to 'determine' if they
belong to the section Meconostigma, the 'self headers'. I know that two of
the species discussed, namely P. adamantinum and P. uliginosum do in fact
belong to this section, yet the illus. in Fig. 9 of the pistilate flowers of
P. uliginosum ('B' and 'F') are quite different one to the other, 'F' has a
crown of 'hairs' much like the illus. of the pistilate flower of P.
biribiriense in Fig.5, both of these illus. of pistilate flowers do not look
like the illus. of pistilate flowers in Simon Mayo`s most excellent paper 'A
revision of Philodendron subgenus Meconostigma (Araceae)' of 1990. My
question is --do P. cipoense and P. biribiriense belong to the Philodendron
subgenus Meconostigma?

I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Miami later this month!


Julius Boos

From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2001.09.04 at 18:39:54(7335)
My dear friend Julius,

I am in hurry right now, but I will try to answer your questions

1. P. leal-costae has been proven to be hard to cultivate, even in Brazil. I
have tried and it didn?t work for me. As far as I could observe, it always
grows in Bromeliad?s tanks, so maybe they need something I couldn?t give
them (besides stanting water). I have never found it in cultivation here in

2. No, P. cipoense and P. biribirense are not Meconostigma. They are both
Philodendron, subg. Philodendron, sect. Calostigma. Anyway, P. cipoense is
an amazing plant in cultivation. Absolutely eye-catching!

3. I do not know exactly, but Alvim Siedel has P. saxicolum before. However,
he may be in difficulties sending living plants (even seeds) outside Brazil.
As far as I know, plant material is still provisorly prohibited to be sent
out of Brazil (legally), until the new laws are completely applied.

Kindest regards,


Eduardo G. Goncalves

From: Neil Crafter golfstra at senet.com.au> on 2001.09.04 at 18:42:41(7343)
Dear Julius
The only plant of P.leal-costae I have seen was in the Singapore Botanic Gardens
- a long way from you! I have not heard of it being commercially available
either from seed or as plants.
As far as P.cipoense and P.biribiriense, I have checked my Meconostigma bible,
namely Simon Mayo's revision of this subgenus in Kew Bulletin Vol 46 No 4 1991,
and as I suspected these are not included in this subgenus as published at that
time. I should have a look at the artcile you mentioned and see what I reckon.
Simon is the best one to judge this.

From: Iza & Carol Goroff goroff at idcnet.com> on 2001.09.04 at 21:46:13(7347)
I remember reading, perhaps 40 years ago, in the late, lamented Aquarium
Magazine a column by the publisher William T. Innes that a Monstera deliciosa in
the Temple University greenhouse in Philadelphia had grown roots into a fish
tank and had suddenly taken off with larger and holier leaves than ever before.
Perhaps a cutting of P. leal-costae fastened to the edge of an aquarium would

Iza Goroff

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.09.05 at 08:23:14(7350)
Dear Neil,

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply---do you remember HOW the plant
you saw in the Singapore Bot. Gardens was being grown, and did you take any
photographs?? As you may know there is a larger but very simular species
of 'self header', P. goeldii, that is fairly common in cultvation, and is
also easy to grow, and so wonder if the plant you saw might not have been
this more common (in cultivation) species.
You would have read by now Eduardo`s comments on the placement of the two
other species, they are not in the Meconostigma group. If you`d like to
see photographs of one and illus. of both, check the article I mention in a
recent issue of Aroideana, they are VERY beautiful plants! I am still
confused by one of the illus. of the fruit of a true 'self-header',
P.uliginosum, which is shown in that article.
Thanks for taking the time to reply!



From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.09.05 at 08:24:56(7352)
Dear Iza,

Good thought, but I believe that Eduardo has tried this method. In the
original description on the species, [Aroideana Vol. 2, No. 3, 1979] Dr.
Simon Mayo mentions that this species was then being cultivated by the
famous and late Roberto B-Marx in Brazil, and there is a photo of a seedling
w/ about 5 cordate leaves that was being grown at Kew, so I had hoped that
somewhere someone had this plant in coultvation, but it seems that I was

Does anyone on this list know if Alvim Siedel in Brazil offers seed of any
of the following species--
P. saxicolum, P. adamantinium or P. leal-costae??

Thanks and good growing.



From: "brian williams" pugturd50 at hotmail.com> on 2001.09.05 at 13:30:13(7357)
Dear Julius Alvim Seidel has the following seeds available.
P. saxicolum, P. adamantinium.

I plan to order from him as well maybe if you would like we could split some
seeds of a few species. I plan to also get a few orchids. Hope things are
going well,!!

From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2001.09.05 at 22:07:30(7364)
Dear friends,

Just to let you know, Burle-Marx?s plants of P. leal-costae may be lost,
since I could not find it in his collection (among the extant 250 or even
more species of Philos that still survive there). I will check the other
Brazilian gardens I distributed the plants I collected in March, in order to
know if their plants are still alive.
What about put it in the tank of a monster Vriesea-like bromeliad, just
like it occurs in the wild? I couldn?t try this method because I do not have
room for something like this in my collection. In near future, maybe I will
grow a big tank bromeliad, with plenty of Anthurium bromelicola, A. mourae
and Philodendron leal-costae, all of them known to grow in places like this!
(together with some frogs, snakes and mosquitoes, that are also found in
those tanks)

From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2001.09.06 at 08:13:49(7367)
How are seeds of Philodendron leal-costae distributed, by birds perhaps? Must
seeds go through the gut or craw of some animal before they can germinate in
large bromeliad tank?
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.09.06 at 13:54:54(7378)
Dear Donna,

I don`t know for sure, but it could be birds, but also fruit bats, the ripe
fruit in this species are reportedly pale yellow. I have recently seen a
GREAT nature program on PTV of a BIG Philo. goeldii in the jungle canopy
(this species has fruits said to be white, a perfect color to help them be
located by animals and birds, day or night!) whose ripe fruit were eagerly
being eaten by spider monkeys, and many of the 'local names' reflect the
animals that feed on these sweet, juicy fruits, 'monkey banana', 'bat
banana', etc. We collected ripe yellow fruit of another of this group, the
huge species P. solimosense in Fr. Guyana, and the fruit taste sweet, very
'fruity', so all sorts of animals and birds probably distribute the fruit
and seeds of this group, from opossums to monkeys to bats, MANY species of
fruit-eating birds, etc. I don`t believe that the seeds MUST go through an
animal or bird to germinate, but being hard shelled and small, are perfectly
designed to pass through a fruit eating bird or animal, bats, birds and
monkeys have a notoriously quick digestion time, so the seeds would pass
through and out quickly and unharmed, and have a good chance of being
'dropped' on to a suitable location for germination, in the case of P.
leal-costae a bat or bird would pass them out probably in under 1/2 hour
into the same feeding trip and back into the bromileads while it was still
searching for more ripe friut!

I have been thinking the same thing, get a BIG bromilead, partially fill the
'cups' with dead leaves, shredded bark, a little soil, etc., and sow a
couple seeds in it and I`d BET they would do fine! The late Dr. Monroe
Birdsey had a couple HUGE Brom.`s in front of his cottage that would have
served splendidly for this purpose! Maybe we can obtain a few seeds
legally and we shall try to do it soon!!!!
In Trinidad, we have some BIG Bromileads, and some of the very specialised
fauna associated with them and found no where else are a frog, cockroach, a
scorpion,and a special small crab, not to mention the occasional snake and
lizard! Think of the fun we could have with these alone, Eduardo!
See you all later this month in Miami!



From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2001.09.06 at 18:42:35(7396)
Dear Donna,

Dispersers in aroids are even more poorly known than pollinators! Most
species of Philodendron have ripe berries greenish or cream colored, that
are usually inconspicuous. That aspect make them not so attractive to birds.
However, most of them have a very strong smell of butyric acid (rancid
butter). Such combination of aspects (together with pendent infructescens)
make them strong candidates for bat-dispersed (or non-primate mammal
dispersed) fruits. That is the case of most Philodendron subgen.
Meconostigma (self-heading), and in fact the majority of species. Monkeys
are usually curious herbivores and will taste everything they can put their
hands (four hands) on. So they usually are found eating Philo seeds too.
They are found eating everything, including our field snacks! It is true
that some Amazonian species (including P. elaphoglossoides and others) have
fruits that are bright red and showy. The berries are usually easy to pick
as an unity, that make them serious candidates for bird dispersed fruits.
Well, I am not so good with bromeliads (in fact, I think that the concept
of genus in Bromeliaceae is almost senseless), but the plants are
Vriesia-like. Ok, I know, it is not so informative... I think I have such
information in home (I am in the lab right now), so I will write again
later. Whatever, I don?t think there is a specific association, but I have
NEVER found a "bromeliadless" P. leal-costae!
There are other species that usually start to grow in bromeliads,
including another Philo subg. Meconostigma from the Atlantic Coast (P.
corcovadense). Seeds usually germinate in the tanks, probably because of the
permanent water source. However, they are too big to spend his whole life
growing there, so they send out roots to the soil and start to grow as an
hemiepiphyte. This is a common association, but other species occasionally
germinate in the tanks. It is a good place to be if you are a Philodendron
seedling germinating in the canopy. Even in the rain forests, it is hard to
keep a constant water supply if you are 30 m from the ground. Maybe
Philodendron leal-costae it is just more specialized (once again, maybe
because it grows in places where the water is not promptly available all the

From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2001.09.08 at 08:44:20(7420)
In a message dated Thu, 6 Sep 2001 11:14:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time, SelbyHort@aol.com writes:

> since so few are found in gardens anywhere. Eduardo, have you been to habitat
> and observed whether it will only grow associated with a specific bromeliad
> species?

From: "Michael Pascall" mickpascall at hotmail.com> on 2001.09.09 at 09:59:06(7430)
Another nice really big Bromeliad would be Vriesea, now changed to
Alcantarea imperialis.
I have asked a few of my Brazil bromeliad contacts to look out for Aroids in
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.09.09 at 19:40:24(7438)
Hi Again,

I have written to Joep about the poss. of getting the Philo. seed, and I
will let you know if and when he replys, he lives pretty simply and under
crude conditions, so when his comp. goes crook it may be a while before he
gets it going again! When it is up perhaps you may get in contact w/ him
and you can exchange your want list with the list of rare stuff he can and
does get.
Did`nt know that Brom`s were a big thing your way! I like some of the
'wild' pineapples, and have three sps here, nice little buggers.
Keep in touch!



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