Epipremnum Schott was established in 1857 (Schott, 1857). Based on the only species known to him, E. mirabile Schott [= E. pinnatum] Schott defined Epipremnum by unilocular ovaries with a single intrusive parietal placenta bearing two sub-basal ovules. A floral diagnosis was figured in Genera Aroidearum (Schott, 1858, t. 79). The current circumscription of Epipremnum has ovule number ranging from two [most species, but see E. ceramense (Engl. K. Krause) Alderw. and E. falcifolium Engl.] to eight [E. amplissimum (Schott) Engl., Australia, New Guinea, W. Pacific] and albuminous strongly curved seeds with a bony, smooth to ornamented testa. However, as noted by Hay (1990, 1993) the established reliance on gynoecial characters to define old world genera in tribe Monstereae [Amydrium Schott (including Epipremnopsis Engl.), Epipremnum, Rhaphidophora Hassk. and Scindapsus Schott] requires reassessment since it does not take into account a wealth of shared vegetative characters in the four genera presently recognized. An in-depth discussion of this is beyond the scope of this paper but individual species’ notes highlight particular examples and an introduction to the problems associated with these characters and the present generic circumscription in old world Monstereae can be gained from Blanc (1978, 1981), Hay (1986, 1990), Hay & Mabberley (1991), Madison (1977), Mayo, Bogner & Boyce (1997) and Ray (1987, 1988, 1990).

Schott (1863) established the genus Anthelia with a single species, A. nobilis Schott, for a climbing aroid from Maluku with incompletely bilocular ovaries and four ovules (two per partial locule). The generic boundaries of Anthelia fall within the current circumscription of Epipremnum.