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  Philodendron williamsii. It isn't what most collectors
From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.04.15 at 13:42:29(17389)

Julius, Ron Weeks, Leland, and Dr. Croat please chime in on this one. I suspect there will be some that will disagree.

I received a note yesterday about one of my website pages on the species Philodendron williamsii. The writer was upset that my page was "wrong" and I'm fairly certain that writer subscribes to Aroid l. This is not the first note I've received with that assertion. However, the page has been verified by botanical experts including Julius and I don't consider myself an expert!

Most collectors believe the aroid in their collection they know as Philodendron williamsii is a long bladed plant with scalloped edges. The true species with the name Philodendron williamsii is closer to oval with lobes. Philodendron williamsii is quite rare in nature according to botanist Dr. Eduardo Gon?alves in Brazil. In a note from Dr. Gon?alves to Julius which is included on the page he explained that almost all the plants that are now known as Philodendron williamsii are truly Philodendron stenolobum, a plant he discovered and named. Regrettably, many plant sellers sell Philodendron stenolobum (especially on eBay) and call it Philodendron williamsii. I found at least 6 offers this morning for Philodendron stenolobum on the web calling it Philodendron williamsii. Many were from large plant retailers. The names have been used interchangeably for years by plant sellers but the true Philodendron williamsii is extremely rare both in nature and in collections and looks nothing like Philodendron stenolobu

These pages will explain about the true Philodendron williamsii as well as the true plant which is quite variable and known to science as Philodendron stenolobum:



Additionally, many websites including a very popular garden site used by aroid collectors now call Philodendron williamsii "Espirito Sancti". That name comes from a small city in SE Brazil where the plant Philodendron spiritus-sancti G.S. Bunting can be found. There are now only 6 known specimens of that plant left in nature and it is extremely rare in any collection. Although no specific plant owns the name Espirito Sancti (it is a common name) it is most often applied to Philodendron spiritus-sancti. This page may help you to better understand that controversy:


It is my understanding, Eduardo or Leland please correct me if I'm wrong, but neither Philodendron stenolobum nor Philodendron williamsii are commonly found in this region of Brazil.

Below is a photo of the true Philodendron williamsii. If you have something that looks different, it is a different species and is likely one of the many forms of Philodendron stenolobum. My photo is of a plant owned by rare plant collector Ron Weeks and was taken at the 2007 International Aroid Show in Miami, FL. Also, as I recall, Ron has two forms of Philodendron williamsii.

Steve Lucas

From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.04.15 at 16:48:06(17390)
In response to what I sent earlier, I just uncovered a note from aroid expert Leland Miyano which confirms Philodendron stenolobum does grow in the same area as Philodendron spiritus-sancti. I can't find anything to indicate Philodendron williamsii comes from that region. I suppose the plant could be known as Espirito Sancti as well. I just hate to see plants other than Philodendron spiritus-sancti using the name since it is so rare and valuable to the members of the International Aroid Society.

Steve Lucas

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