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From: Leslie Georgeson skinnychick2 at yahoo.com> on 2003.05.08 at 13:15:22(10213)
Could someone please tell me what the difference between Philodendron Selloum and Philodendron Bipinnafididum is? I ordered a packet of each type of seed, they look the same, but the Bipinnatifidum says it needs stratification before planting. When I researched these plants, they appear to be identical. So, what, exactly, do I have? Thank you! Leslie

Do you Yahoo!?

From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2003.05.08 at 17:10:42(10217)
Dear Leslie,

Well, there is a serious problem on it. Taxonomically, P. selloum and
P. bipinnatifidum are the same thing. (Check it out in Aroideana 25)
However, there are at least two species being sold as P. selloum: P.
mello-barretoanum and P. lundii, and also a few different forms of P.
bipinnatifidum itself. All seeds look the same and I have germinated real
P. bipinnatifidum many times with no stratification. I don?t believe that
people there in colder areas have developed forms that requires
stratification, but who knows? Well, you can have two forms of P.
bipinnatifidum, or one of them can be P. mello-barretoanum or P. lundii...
Or maybe none of them are the real P. bipinnatifidum... My advice is: Plant
both batches of seeds as indicated, wait until they grow and observe a few
features on stems and petioles, so it is up to you to ID:

Stems with soft and easily detachable "scales" and petiole concave
above..... P.bipinnatifidum

From: Susan snalice at dslextreme.com> on 2003.05.08 at 18:34:15(10220)

When I ordered philodendron from Alvim Seidel the first time, I ordered P.
selloum, P. bipinnatifidum, and also P. Sao Paulo. I thought I was going to get
totally different plants. I don't know if I'm right on all of this, but from
what I've been able to figure out, selloum and bipinnatifidum are synonomous. I
think Sao Paulo is another variety of splitleaf philodendron. However, Sao
Paulo might be just another name for P. bipinnatifidum, but this is for someone
else to say. This year I ordered another split leaved Pilodendron that is very
similar to these three called P. lundii. I did find that P. lundii is a
different 'looking' form of bipinnatifidum. Maybe more compact, bushy?
Selloum/bipinnatifidum will grow into a tree form with a trunk in time.

Someone else on the list might be able to clear this up. I would be interested
in knowing the true facts on the splitleaf philodendrons also.

Hope this helps,
Susan Cox

From: Leslie Georgeson skinnychick2 at yahoo.com> on 2003.05.08 at 22:38:02(10222)
Thanks for the info. The seeds labeled "selloum" have already come up. I will check them per your instructions. The others I just planted, because I followed the instructions (which said cold stratification), so they are just now in the planter. Thanks again for your help. Leslie

Eduardo Goncalves wrote:Dear Leslie,

Well, there is a serious problem on it. Taxonomically, P. selloum and

From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2003.05.09 at 02:18:30(10225)
Dear Susan,

I have been trying to recognize species in the P. bipinnatifidum
complex for at least 6 years and I have learned that the leaves are useless.
There are so many forms, even when you are dealing with wild forms that you
couldn?t say they are the same thing. People used this natural variation to
make cultivars that are more or less uniform in any leafy aspect. But most
material I have seen in the USA are based on the good?n?old Philodendron
bipinnatifidum. Philodendron mello-barretoanum is ocasionally seen, mainly
because it was spread by Roberto Burle-Marx. Philodendron lundii is pretty
rare outside Brazil, despite it is the main cultivated species in Central
Brazil (mainly Brasilia).

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.05.10 at 20:04:23(10233)
Dear Susan,

I`m going to take this opportunity to put in a plug for our International
Aroid Society! If you are or become a member ($20.00/year), you will have
access to some fantastic information by authors like Dr. Eduardo Goncalves
who, in the latest issue of our journal '"Aroideaea" published a most
interesting paper on this group of Philodendron species. In the previous
journal there was another paper also with great information, photos and
illustrations also on species within this group of Philodendrons!
In reading Eduardo`s note to you and the list, and reading his truncated
'key' to the species in this group, it would seem to me that based on his
comments about P. mello-barretoanum, with its hard scales on its stem that
do not easily detach (I have received a pretty severe laceration on my hand
caused by my careless handling of a plant by these spine/knife-like
scales!!), it, and NOT p. bipinnatifidum is the species in massive
tissue-culture cultivation here in the U.S.A. As seen in the latest issue
of Aroideana, our paper describing P. xanadu as a good species, hehein S.
Florida the 'local' and very common Philodendron which is sold locally as P.
'selloum' but which for years was thought to be P. bipinnatifidum, has a
huge spathe with a green exterior, and persistent and HARD spines on its
stem. Eduardo says that in true P. bipinnatifidum the spathe can vary in
color, so my question is what color spathe does P. mello-barretoanum have?
Remember, my friends, the study of aroids is far from complete, we are
learning new 'stuff' every day!


From: "Ron" ronlene at adelphia.net> on 2003.05.11 at 13:53:02(10235)
Hi, I'm a member and enjoy the various Amorphophallus Species. At last
year's show in Miami, I purchased several un-named "tubers" from a man from
Thailand. Several of them are now in leaf. Who can I email the photos to to
try to identify the tubers. Some of them are very unusual. Ron Kessler
561-499-4910 Florida
From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.05.11 at 18:39:07(10236)
Why not mail them to Lord P. at hetter@worldonline.nl You'll at least get a
well educated guess........


From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2003.05.18 at 19:46:43(10268)
My dear friend Julius,

Just to answer your comments: Yes, I have seen real P. bipinnatifidum
in USA (mostly in Botanical Gardens), but considering you have a better
sampling of cultivated material, I wouldn?t be surprised if P.
mello-barretoanum was the main cultivated big Philo there in USA.
Philodendron mello-barretoanum was spread in Brazil by Roberto Burle-Marx,
that was part of a very active group of plant traders there in Florida, so
there was time enough to spread this plant for nurseries coast to coast.
I have seen in the wild only plants of P. mello-barretoanum with a pure
green spathe, but a few cultivated material have a spathe that is purplish
outside (mainly along the margins), so this aspect can be easily selected by
growers. Growers can do anything!

Very best


From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.13 at 19:35:08(10394)
My Dear Friend Eduardo,

I have just forwarded you two notes concerning the possible ID of a Xanthosoma here in Florida to you, and I hope that after you have read them and seen the photo (in the second note) you will be able to help by giving your opinion!
I hope that you are well and happy, and that this gets to you OK, as it has been a while since I have heard from you.
Concerning the Philodendron issue which we briefly discussed (below), would it be safe to assume that since ALL the Philo. 'selloum' that are being produced by the million by tissue culture here in Florida and being sold into the landscaping trade all have very pronounced intravaginal squamules, they are in fact P. mello-barettoanum and not P. bipinnatifidium, which you report usually does NOT have these structures? The plants here all have a green spathe (see the recent paper on P. xanadu) , but may have just a thin line of purplish color along the very edge, I am not certain of this. Perhaps in the near future we should collaborate on a paper concerning the correct identification of this very important plant to commerce here in Florida?
A paper is certainly needed.
I look forward to hearing from you when you may have a moment.

Your Friend,


From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2003.07.17 at 07:35:17(10403)
The Editor of 'Aroideana' says "yes, please" to such a paper, both for
that publication, and because it would be great to have it sorted out
once and for all for Florida. (Is there such a thing as 'once and for
all' in taxonomy?) Derek

p.s to Eduardo I would like to repeat my recent question to you
publicly. The @selloum-type@ that we were working around at The Living
Rainforest had a very different smell to its leaves from that to which I
am accustomed in the common Florida plants. Any comments on odor as a
taxonomic character?

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.17 at 23:18:49(10404)
Dear Derek,

I will certainly work toward making this happen, Eduardo is in the field at the moment, but I should hear from him on his return to 'civilization'.
Where is the site that you mention ('The Living Rainforest') located?? I`d like to see and smell the plants that smell different to our 'regular' P. 'selloum'!
I`d request that anyone who may know of a plant collection that just MAY have some of the VERY old collections of Philodendrons to please contact me w/ their suggestions, I`d love to see some 'pre-tissue culture' specimens of P. 'selloum'.

Good Growing to all,


From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2003.07.18 at 07:37:22(10406)
Dear Julius,
The Living Rainforest is in Berkshire about 40 miles west of London, and
is where I am now. We will be doing a house swap in Dorset for the whole
of August, so if you could make your way across there would be a bed and
a warm welcome for you, plus my service as a chauffeur on the 'smelling
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.18 at 17:28:51(10408)
Dear Derek,

The name DID ring a bell, but I was unable to 'pull it up'! Old age is no fun! :--)>
Please give my very best to Myles!
If you could be so kind, please check out the 'stem' of these strange-smelling Philodendrons, true P. bipinnatifidium is said to have smooth stems w/ NO intravaginal squamules (the spine-like structures found at the interniodes), while P. mello-barretoanum is said to be THE one w/ these spine-like structures very well developed, which would make ALL the P. 'selloums' sold in Florida this species. If in bloom, pics of the spathes (and details of spadices) would be great also, the locally grown P. 'selloum' here has a large (+- 24") mainly green spathe.
Oh how I wish I were able to take you up on your kind offer, I have not visited the UK in 44 years! I still remember Kew and the British Museum.
See you soon!

The Very Best,


From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2003.08.04 at 18:24:28(10473)
Dear Derek,

Sorry for the long silence, but I was in a field trip in Amazonia.
Well, I haven?t used the smell as a character because I have no way to
establish an appropriate nomenclature to describe it, and it is even harder
to see in herbarium sheets than thorns in stems. Well, if you use the key I
published in the last Aroideana in adult plants, I think it is possible to
see what is being sold in USA. I have seen P. bipinnatifidum and P.
mello-barretoanum growing in USA, but my sampling is restricted to Botanical
Gardens (that potentially can grow old and wild-collected stocks). I have no
way to say what species is being widely produced and tissue-cultured in USA,
because I am not there. Anyhow, I think that any of you can do it using my
key. I can even help, if needed. As an interesting example of how names can
be misapplied ad infinitum happened the last time I was in USA. I could see
that virtually every material comercially grown in Miami area as Xanthosoma
sagittifolium is, in fact, Xanthosoma robustum. Old species are usually the
most confused!

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