ContentsPhilodendron brenesiiPhilodendron davidsonii

Philodendron crassispathum Croat & Grayum, sp. nov.

TYPE: Panama. Chiriquí: Cerro Colorado, above San Félix along mining road, 18-27 mi. off Pan-American Hwy., above Chame (turnoff to Escopeta), 1200--1500 m, 8E35'N, 81E50'W, 12 Mar. 1976, Croat 33150 (holotype, MO--2395067; isotypes, B, F, K, PMA, US). Figures 112, 124, 127--128, 149.

Planta hemiepiphytica, interdum terrestris; internodia 1.5--8 cm longa, (1--1.8)2.5--3.5 cm diam.; cataphylla carnosa, 8.5--24 cm longa, persistentia semi-intacta, denique decidua; petiolus subteres, obtuse complanatus, 20--31(48) cm longus, 5--19 mm diam.; lamina ovato-cordata, 14--29 cm longa, 11--24 cm lata; inflorescentia 1; pedunculus 3.5--7 cm longus, 1--2.5 cm latus; spatha carnosa, haud constricta, (6.8)10--14 cm longa, lamina spathae extus rubra extus, rubra vel alba intus; tubo spathae extus viridi, interdum extus flavido aut aurantiacorubro, intus violaceopurpureo vel rubro; pistilla 6--7-locularia; loculi 7--10-ovulati; bacca virides, aurantiacentes vel albidae.

Hemiepiphytic, sometimes terrestrial; stem appressed-climbing or scandent, creeping, becoming matte and gray, smooth when fresh, sap watery, spicy-scented, leaf scars conspicuous, 9--20 mm long, 2--3.5 cm wide; internodes drying conspicuously wrinkled, epidermis weakly glossy, 1.5--8 cm long, (1--1.8)2.5--3.5 cm diam., usually broader than long, dark green, epidermis brownish and cracking; roots dark brown, smooth upon drying, elongate, 3--50 cm long, 1--3 mm diam., few per node; cataphylls fleshy, 8.5--24 cm long, sharply 2-ribbed, green to dark green, dark green short-lineate, drying yellowish brown to pale green, persisting semi-intact at upper nodes then eventually fibrous then deciduous.

LEAVES erect-spreading to spreading; petioles 20--31(48) cm long, 5--19 mm diam., subterete, somewhat spongy, sometimes tinged brown near apex, obtusely flattened with obtuse medial rib adaxially, convexly rounded abaxially; blades broadly ovate-cordate, very coriaceous, acuminate at apex (the acumen inrolled, 2--5 mm long), cordate at base, 14--29 cm long, 11--24 cm wide (1--1.56 times longer than wide), broadest at or near the middle, margins hyaline, whitish or reddish, tightly curled under when dried, upper surface dark green, glossy, drying semiglossy to matte, lower surface paler, drying greenish gray to yellowish green to brownish, drying semiglossy to matte; anterior lobe 10--25 cm long, 11--33 cm wide (1.6--2.5 times longer than than posterior lobes); posterior lobes 4.5--10 cm long, 5--16.5 cm wide, obtuse to rounded; sinus spathulate to hippocrepiform; midrib flat to very broadly convex, drying yellowish green, paler than surface above, weakly convexly raised, paler than surface below; basal veins 3--4(6) per side, with 0--1 free to base, most of the remainder coalesced 1--2.5(4.4) cm, flat above, weakly raised below; posterior rib not naked if present; primary lateral veins 4--6 per side, departing midrib at a 40--70E angle, more or less straight to the margins, flat, paler than surface, drying obsure above, raised and paler below; interprimary veins obscure above, weakly visible below; minor veins etched above, visible and darker than surface below, arising from midrib only.

INFLORESCENCES shorter than leaves, 1 per axil; peduncle 3.5--7 cm long, 1--2.5 cm diam. (dried), terete, drying brown; spathe fleshy, (6.8)10--14 cm long, 4.5--10 cm diam., not at all constricted, more or less ellipsoid, bluntly acute to rounded at apex, the walls to 1 cm or more thick midway; spathe blade red outside, red to white inside; spathe tube green, sometimes yellowish to orange-red outside, violet-purple to red inside; spadix (6.5)9--14 cm long; pistillate portion grayish to golden-yellow, cylindrical to slightly ellipsoid, 1.5--7 cm long, 10--25 mm diam. throughout, with 13--15 flowers visible per spiral; staminate portion 5--9 cm long; fertile staminate portion white with orange-brown droplets, cylindrical, weakly constricted above sterile portion, tapered toward apex, 15--23 mm diam. throughout, broader than pistillate and sterile portions, 22--27 flowers per spiral; sterile staminate portion 17--24 mm diam.; pistils 4--4.5 mm long, 4--4.5 mm diam.; ovary 6--7-locular, with axile placentation; ovules 7--10 per locule, 0.6--1 mm long, 0.3 mm diam.; funicles with free portion ca. 1 mm long, the remainder loosely fused to the wall of the locule; style similar to style type D, button-like and concave on drying, 1.3--2 mm diam., the margins pale; androecium margins irregular, 0.6--1.3 mm long; sterile staminate flowers more or less globose, 1.4--2.2 mm long.

INFRUCTESCENCE erect; pistillate spadix 4.5--5 cm long, 4 cm diam.; berries green becoming orange to whitish; pericarp white; mesocarp yellowish white; seeds yellow-orange, 2.9--3.5 mm long, 0.7--1 mm diam.

Flowering in Philodendron crassispathum appears to occur during the dry season and early rainy season with flowering collections made during February through April and in August. Post-anthesis collections have been made from January through October. Mature fruiting collections have been made only from January through March indicating that they may take up to almost one year to develop.

Philodendron crassispathum ranges from central Costa Rica to western Panama, at 1100 to 2600 m elevation in Premontane rain forest and Tropical Lower Montane rain forest life zones.

Philodendron crassispathum is a member of P. sect. Calostigma subsect. Macrobelium ser. Ecordata. The species is characterized by its high elevational habitat, fleshy, deciduous, sharply two-ribbed cataphylls, subterete, obtusely flattened, somewhat spongy petioles, coriaceous ovate-cordate blades with the minor veins etched above, and especially by the very fleshy more or less ellipsoid, green spathe with walls typically 1 cm or more thick, colored white within on the blade and red in the tube.

Philodendron crassispathum is most closely related to P. brenesii, which differs in having narrowly ovate blades with a narrow V-shaped sinus and mostly free basal veins, and a comparatively thin spathe clearly constricted above the tube portion. In contrast, P. crassispathum has blades with a typically spathulate to hippocrepiform sinus and a usually obvious posterior rib.

Click on the Thumbnail to enlarge the picture.

Additional specimens examined.

COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Río San Pedro, Cerro Azahar, 15 km NW of San Ramón by air, 1400--1500 m, 10E9'30"N, 84E34-35'W, Liesner et al. 15502 (CR, K, MEXU, MO, WIS); Monteverde Reserve, Cerro Chomogo, 1600--1690 m, Dryer 1470 (CR, F). Cartago: Río Dos Amigos--Río Villegas, narrow ridge W of Río Grande de Orosi, 1650 m, 9E42'N, 83E47'W, Grayum et al. 3762 (MO, PMA, US); 4.5 km past town of Río Macho, along road to Humo, 1633 m, 9E17'N, 83E45'W, Hoover 1346 (CR, MO); Tapantí Reserve, Quebrada Salto--Río Grande de Orosi, ca. 1 km S of jct., 1500-1800 m, 9E43'N, 83E47'W, Croat & Grayum 68226 (CR, MO); Grayum et al. 6301 (MO); 1380 m, Croat 79077 (CR, INB, MO); Tapantí Watershed Preserve, 20 mi. SW of Paraíso, Croat 47045 (CM, MO), 47043 (MO, SCZ). Heredia: Río Las Vueltas--Río Nuevo, E slopes of Volcán Barba, 2000 m, 10E6'N, 84E03'W, Burger & Baker 9500 (CR, F, ISC, MO, NY, PMA); 9 km SE of Virgen del Socorro, 9 km E of Isla Bonita, 1530 m, 10E14'N, 84E05'W, Loiselle 228 (MO); Cerro Chompipe, N of San Rafael, 2000 m, Lems s.n. (F, NY, US); Cerro de las Caricias, N of San Isidro, 2000--2400 m, Standley & Valerio 51910 (US); San Rafael--Río Las Vueltas, N slope of Cerro Chompipe, 2100--2200 m, 10E05'N, 84E04'W, Stevens 13989 (MO); Volcán Barva, Cerro Chompipe, near Ermita Santa Cruz, Lems s.n. (F, US); Río Las Vueltas, 12 km NE of San Rafael, 2000 m, Wilbur et al. 15986 (DUKE); Río Santo Domingo, ca. 3 km E of San Rafael de Vara Blanca, N slope of Volcán Barva, 2060--2100 m, 10E11'N, 84E07'W, Grayum 7335 (MO). Limón: Cantón de Talamanca, Bratsi, Amubri, Alto Lari, Kivut, between Río Lari and Río Dapari, 1900 m, 9E22'45"N, 83E06'15"W, Herrera 5504 (INB, MO); Cordillera de Talamanca, Cerro Biricuacua, 2600 m, 9E23'55"N, 83E10'10"W, Herrera 6219 (CR, INB, MO); 9E20'20"n, 83E13'33"W, Bittner 1864 (INB, MO). Puntarenas: Monteverde Reserve, 1500 m, ca. 10E17'N, 84E48'W, Croat 61195 (MO); Cerro Negro, 1500--1600 m, Haber & Bello 2843 (MO); Brillante Trail to Veracruz, river valley along Continental Divide, 1600 m, 10E20'N, 84E50'W, Haber et al. 4584 (MO). San José: S slopes of Cerro Zurquí, ca. 4--4.5 km N of San Isidro de San José, 1500--1800 m, Utley & Utley 408 (DUKE); 4 km N of Cascajal, 7 km N of Las Nubes, on CR-216, 1500--1600 m, Utley & Utley 5255 (MO). PANAMA. Bocas del Toro: Cerro Colorado, 12 km W of Chame, 3000--4000 ft., Kress et al. 86-1949 (MO, SEL); 9.2 mi. W of Chame, 1450--1480 m, 8E35'N, 81E50'W, Croat 69069 (L, MEXU, MO, P, US); near Continental Divide, 9.4 mi. from Chame, ca. 1700 m, ca. 8E35'N, 81E45'W, McPherson 8918 (CAS, MO); Fortuna Dam area, along trail on Continental Divide, ca. 1200 m, McPherson 9031 (MO). Bocas del Toro-Chiriquí: Chiriquicito-Calderas, Elfin forest, at Divide, on trail, Kirkbride & Duke 975 (MO); Cerro Colorado, 1300--1400 m, 8E35'N, 81E50'W, McPherson 13640 (MO, NY). Chiriquí: Cerro Colorado, 20 mi. N of Río San Félix, 1660 m, 8E30'N, 81E46W, Croat 74987 (MO, US); 1110--1750 m, 8E35'N, 81E54'W, Hammel & Trainer 14932 (MO); Boquete region, SW slope of Cerro Pate Macho, 1630--1780 m, 8E46'N, 82E25'W, Croat 66382 (MO, QCA, SCZ); Fortuna Dam area, Fortuna Lake--Chiriquí Grande, 4.5--5 km N of dam over Fortuna Lake, 1100--1134 m, 8E43'N, 82E17'W, Croat & Grayum 59979 (AAU, B, CM, GH, K, MO, RSA); Gualaca--Chiriquí Grande, 4.8 mi. beyond IRHE facilities at Dam, 4 mi. N of bridge over Bayano Lake, 8E46'N, 82E16'W, Croat 68027 (COL, G, MEXU, MO).