Philodendron brenesii Standl.,
Publ. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 18: 140. 1937. TYPE: Costa Rica. Alajuela: La Palma de San Ramón, 1050--1100 m, Brenes 5110 (holotype,F). Figures 36, 86--89.
Hemiepiphytic, sometimes terrestrial; stem gray-green, to 2 m long, glaucous; sap watery, spicy-scented; internodes weakly glossy, becoming matte, 2.5 cm long, 2.5--5 cm diam., about as long as broad, medium to dark green, weakly glossy to semiglossy, drying gray, epidermis brown, crisp; cataphylls to 24 cm long, sharply 1-ribbed to sharply 2-ribbed, sharply and broadly sulcate, pale green to greenish brown to reddish or weakly tinged red near base, densely short dark lineate, drying tannish brown, promptly deciduous, obtuse at apex, margins clear to pale; petioles 20--53 cm long, 0.6--1.7 cm diam., subterete, somewhat spongy, yellowish green, very broadly convex to weakly flattened to obtusely flattened with obtuse medial rib adaxially, rounded to convex abaxially, with adaxial margins rounded, surface sparsely short, dark green or reddish lineate, sometimes with green to reddish ring around apex; blades narrowly ovate, subcoriaceous, short- to long-acuminate at apex, more or less sagittate at base, 28--79 cm long, 8--38 cm wide, (1.6) 1.8--2(2.4) times longer than wide, 1.1--1.4 times longer than petioles, upper surface medium to dark green, semiglossy to glossy, lower surface pale green to bluish green, matte to glaucous; anterior lobe 30--52 cm long, 20--30 cm wide (4.3--5.5 times longer than posterior lobes); posterior lobes 5.5--12 cm long, 8.8--13 cm wide, rounded, directed toward base; sinus narrow V-shaped; midrib very broadly convex to flat, whitish to pale green to pale reddish green, sometimes sparsely short red-lineate, at least near base above, narrowly convex to convex, pale green to reddish, matte, sometimes dark red-lineate below; basal veins 5--6 per side, 2 free to base, the third and fourth sometimes coalesced to 3.5 cm; posterior rib not naked; primary lateral veins (5--6)8--12(18) per side, departing midrib at a 60--95E angle, sunken above, convex and paler than surface below; minor veins visible, etched-sunken and paler above, slightly raised and slightly darker than surface below, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins.
INFLORESCENCES erect, 1--2 per axil; peduncle 4.5--10.5 cm long, 0.5--1 cm diam., convex adaxially, rounded to angular abaxially, medium green, semiglossy; spathe thin, 9.5--18 cm long, (1.7--2.1 times longer than peduncle), constricted more or less at the middle, pale yellowish green throughout, spathe blade cream inside; spathe tube 4--6 cm long, semiglossy outside, deep magenta with resin canals inside, spadix sessile, more or less tapered, 11.5--17.3 cm long, broadest at the base; pistillate portion pale yellow, cylindrical, 2.8--8 cm long, 0.8--1.4 cm diam., taper toward base; staminate portion 8.6--10.8 cm long, only slightly broader than pistillate portion; fertile staminate portion cream, generally tapered, 9--14 mm diam. at base, 1.1--1.2 cm diam. at middle, 4--6 mm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex, broadest at base, usually narrower than the pistillate portion; sterile staminate 1--1.5 cm diam.; pistils 3.1--4.7 mm long, 1.7--2.8 mm diam.; ovary 5--8-locular, 1.8 mm long, 1.7 mm diam., with sub-basal placentation; ovules 6--12 per locule, arranged in 2 series of 6 ovules, contained within gelatinous matrix (no true envelope), 0.4 mm long, more or less equal in length to funicle, style 1 mm diam., similar to style type B; style apex flat to weakly rounded; stigma subdiscoid, 1.5--2.1 mm diam., 0.3--1.7 mm high, inserted on center of style apex, shallowly depressed medially; the androecium truncate, 4-6 sided; thecae oblong to ovate, 1.3 mm wide, contiguous; pollen cream, elongate to subspheroidal, 0.1--0.2 mm long, to 0.1 mm diam.
INFRUCTESCENCE with berries yellow maturing to orange; seeds 2 per locule, very pale yellow, 1.4--1.7 mm long, 0.7 mm diam.
JUVENILE plants creeping, appressed-climbing; internodes 8--15 mm long, 2--2.5 cm wide; petioles 7--8 mm diam, D-shaped, flattened adaxially, weakly striate; blades narrowly ovate, 19--23.3 cm long, 9--12 mm wide; basal veins 1--2; posterior rib not naked; primary lateral veins 5--10 per side.
Flowering in Philodendron brenesii may be aseasonal. Flowering collections have been made in July and August, and many post-anthesis collections have been made between March and November. Fruiting collections have been made mostly during what is the dry season and early wet season in Costa Rica, December through May. Mature fruiting collections have been made in December, January, February, and May.Philodendron brenesii ranges from Costa Rica to central Panama, at 800 to 2200 m elevation in Premontane rain forest and Tropical Lower Montane rain forest life zones.Philodendron brenesii is a member of P. sect. Calostigma subsect. Macrobelium ser. Ecordata. The species is distinguished by its mid-elevation habitat, bright green internodes about as long as broad, sharply two-ribbed, promptly deciduous cataphylls, and narrowly ovate blades with a narrow V-shaped sinus, more or less free basal veins and a more or less bluish green lower surface.Philodendron brenesii is most easily confused with P. crassispathum Croat & Grayum, which has similar venation but which has more broadly ovate blades and a nearly ellipsoid spathe wit very thickened walls (usually more than 1 cm thick) and no sign of a constriction between the blade and tube portions. The peduncle on the latter is sometimes so short that it appears to be lacking. In contrast, the spathe of P. brenesii is of normal thickness and shape (e.g. the spathe is divided into a tube and blade portion). Philodendron straminicaule can sometimes be confused with the more narrow-leaved forms of P. brenesii, but that species differs in having a hippocrepiform, rather than a narrowly V-shaped, sinus. The leaf blades of Philodendron brenesii closely resemble those of P. validinervium Engl. from coastal Ecuador between Nanegal and Gualea. That species differs in having proportionately longer and narrower posterior lobes, more closely spaced and prominently raised primary lateral veins, a long-pedunculate spathe (1.2 times longer than the peduncle, versus 1.6--3.1 times longer than the peduncle), and a 4-locular ovary with about 4 ovules per locule (versus a 5--7-locular ovary with up to 12 ovules per locule). Philodendron brenesii is one of the most commonly cultivated species throughout the Meseta Central in Costa Rica. A specimen collected in Coclé Province of Panama (Croat 67578)is somewhat disjunct from the nearest populations in Chiriquí Province, but perhaps belongs here as well. The material has juvenile blades more broadly ovate than in other populations of the species. It also lacks the bluish green coloration on the lower blade surface and has the dried midrib dark rather than pale. The adult blades of the Coclé collections are remarkably similar to those of the Chiriquí collections, and the other differences may be due to the fact that these plants occur near the lower part of the elevational range. A number of differences in the pistil argue that this collection may represent a different species. Pistil differences in the Coclé collection include, among other things, the presence of a style funnel and a style dome (lacking in the Chiriquí populations). The Coclé collection also has eight locules per ovary and two seeds per locule, perhaps another important difference.
A Costa Rican collection (Herrera et al. 8789) from Tarrazú in San José Province is unusual in having smaller leaves with indistinct primary lateral veins and petioles drying minutely wrinkled. The dried blade color, minor venation, and dried stem characters otherwise match P. brenesii. While this might represent a new species, more information is needed. Herrera et al. 8789 also is similar in stature and blade shape with P. knappiae from Chiriquí Province in Panama. The collection differs from P. knappiae in its pale gray--green drying (versus dark brown) lower blade surface, lack of secretory ducts between the minor veins, and a deeply sunken style into the apex of the pistil on drying (versus a style held above the apex of the pistil on drying).
Additional specimens examined.
COSTA RICA. Alajuela: San Ramón--Balsa, ca. 5.7 km N of Quebrada Volio, 1100--1150 m, 10E08'N, 84E29'W, Stevens 14124 (CR, F, MO, NY, US); Cerro el Chayote--Zarcero, Poveda 1187 (CR, F, MO); 8.9 mi. NW of San Ramón, 1100 m, 10E10'30N, 84E30'W, Croat 68084 (B, CM, DUKE, F, K, M, MEXU, MO, NY, US); 1.3 mi. N of Angeles Norte, 1200 m, Croat 46879 (MO); ca. 11 mi. NW of Zarcero, 900 m, Croat 43521 (CR, MO); 1.5 km past Zarcero, 1800 m, Hoover 1350 (CR, MO); Volcán Poás--Volcán Barba, 7 mi. N of Carrizal, 1850 m, Croat 35491 (F, MO). Cartago: ca. 7.3 km NE of Pacayas, 5200 ft., Wilbur et al. 16086 (MO); road to Moravia, ca. 20 km E of Río Pacuare, 1150 m, 9E50'N, 83E24'W, Thompson & Rawlins 1230 (CM); Cerro de la Muerte, between summit & Empalme, 1800 m, Croat 35415 (CR, L, MEXU, MO); La Cangreja, 10 km S of El Tejar, 1850 m, Williams et al. 24191 (F, NY); Río Grande de Orosi, 15 km S of Tapantí, E slope above río, 1500 m, Burger & Liesner 6713 (F); Río Naranjo, 3.5 km E of Cachí, 1360 m, Lent 1431 (F); Tapantí Hydroelectric Reserve, along Río Grande de Orosi, 4.5 km beyond small bridge, 1500--1700 m, Croat 36111 (MO); ca. 1 km S of jct. of Quebrada Salto & Río Grande de Orosi, 1500--1800 m, 9E43'N, 83E47'W, Croat & Grayum 68226A (MO); 1200 m, Lent 990 (F). Guanacaste: Guachipelín--El Volcán de la Vieja, Brenes 15565 (F, NY); SW slopes of Volcán Rincón de la Vieja and Volcán Santa María, trail from Hacienda Guachipelín, 1400 m, 10E48'N, 85E21'W, Burger & Pohl 7771 (CR, F, MO, PMA); Fila del Volcán Cacao, 1400--1520 m, Chacón & Chacón 2302 (MO); 1 km N of Las Nubes village, 8 km NW of Monteverde, 1200 m, 10E22'N, 84E51'W, Haber & Zuchowski 9519 (CR, INB, MO, MV); Río Colorado, 820 m, 10E46'30"N, 85E20'35"W, Rivera 660 (CR, MO). Heredia: 2 km S of Vara Blanco, 1900 m, Wilbur et al. 15711 (DUKE); NW slopes of Volcán Barba, Río San Rafael, Lent 1299 (CR, F, US); Volcán Poás--Vara Blanca, 1.5 kms past divide in road, 1930 m, 10E12'N, 84E10'W, Hoover 1347A (MO, W); La Zona Protectora, Río Peje--Río Guácimo, N slopes Volcán Barba, 800 m, Grayum & Schatz 3232 (DUKE); Río San Rafael, Atlantic slope of Volcán Barva, 1500 m, 10E13'N, 84E05'W, Grayum et al. 7750 (MO). Limón: Moravia, 1300 m, Williams 16171 (EAP); Cantón de Talamanca, Bratsi, Amubri, Alto Lari, Kivut, between Río Dapari and Río Lari, 1350 m, 9E23'50"N, 83E05'10"W, Herrera 5384 (INB, MO); Talamanca, Río Lori, 1700 m, Fernandez 816 (CR, INB). Puntarenas: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, 1450--1650 m, 10E18'N, 84E47'W, Burger & Baker 9767 (CR, F); 1700 m, 10E20'N, 84E50'W, Haber & Bello 4115 (MO); 1700 m, Haber 2413 (MO); 1550--1600 m, Haber & Zuchowski 9827 (INB, MO); Zarcero region, Palmira, 5700 ft., A. Smith 143 (F); Osa, vic. Boscosa, Croat 78806 (CR, INB, MO). San José: vic. of Vara Blanca, 1880 m, Croat 35519 (MO); Río Pará Blanca, Cerros de Zurquí, 1600--1800 m, 10E13'N, 84E01'W, Burger et al. 10242 (F, MO); SW fork of Río Pará Blanco, lower slopes of Cerro Zurquí, Utley & Utley 1270 (F); La Palma--San Jerónimo, Utley & Utley 532 (F); 2 km N of Highway 12, ca. 10 km W of Inter-American Highway, 2200 m, Croat 43387 (CR, MO); along CA-2, Cerro de la Muerte, N of turn off for road 222, 2000 m, Croat 32857 (MO); Patarrá, Cerro El Espino, 1600--1800 m, 9E53'N, 84E02'W, Chacón & Herrera 1586 (CR, MO); Aserrí, Cerros de Escazú, 1950--2100 m, Morales 1305 (CR, INB); Rincón de la Vieja, Boucler 233 (CR); Tarrazú, Herrera et al. 8789 (MO). PANAMA. Chiriquí: Callejón Seco, Volcán de Chiriquí, 1700 m, Woodson & Schery 510 (F, GH, MO); 4 km past divide in road to Alto Quiel from Boquete, 1600 m, 8E49'N, 82E28'W, Hoover 1337 (MO); Gualaca-Chiriquí Grande, 5.9 mi. beyond Los Planes de Hornito, 1225 m, 8E45'N, 82E14'W, Croat 67793 (AAU, CM, COL, CR, F, G, K, L, MEXU, MO, OOM, QCA, SAR, TEX, US); 5.5 mi. NW of Los Planes de Hornito, 1320 m, 8E40'N, 82E14'W, Croat 74914 (MO); Cerro Colorado, ca. 13 mi. N of Río San Félix bridge, 800--1200 m, Croat 33507 (MO); 24 mi. N of Río San Félix, 1430--1500 m, Croat 48487 (MO); above San Félix, 33184 (MO); Los Planes de Hornito beyond Gualaca, 1400-1900 m, Croat 48879 (MO, SAR, US); Boquete region, W of Río Caldera, ca. 2 km NW of Bajo Mono, 1700 m, 8E49'N, 82E28'W, Grayum et al. 6448 (MO); 8.3 mi. W of Chame, 1300 m, 8E35'N, 81E50'W, Croat 69090 (AAU, CR, MO, NY, PMA, VDB); near Continental Divide, 1500 m, Antonio 1497 (MO, NY); Cerro Hornito, S slope approached from Los Planes de Hornito, 1640 m, 8E41'N, 82E11'W, Croat 67937 (CAS, MO); Cerro Horqueta, 1650 m, Croat 27000 (CM, MO). Coclé: Alto Calvario along summit of Continental Divide 5.5 mi. N of El Copé, 3.5 mi. N of Escuela Barrigón, 850 m, 8E39'N, 80E36'W, Croat 67578 (CM, CR, K, MO, NY, PMA, US); 1.5 mi. N of El Copé, ca. 900 m, Croat 44577 (MO).