ContentsPhilodendron clewellii

Philodendron heleniae Croat, sp. nov.

TYPE: Panama. San Blas: El Llano--Cartí road, 14 km N of Pan-American Hwy., 300 m, 9E15'N, 79EW, 12 July 1988, Croat 69244 (holotype, MO-- 3599872; isotypes, B, CAS, COL, CR, F, K, MEXU, NY, PMA, SCZ, US, VEN). Figures 227--230.

Planta plerumque hemiepiphytica, raro terrestris; internodia 4--12 cm longa, 2--3 cm diam.; cataphylla 15--35 cm longa, 1--2-costata, decidua; petiolus teres aut D-formatus, 14--41.5 cm longus, 6--10 mm diam.; lamina anguste ovata, 25--52 cm longa, 6--26 cm lata, in sicco flavibrunnea; inflorescentia 2--10; pedunculus 2--6 cm longus, 4--6 mm diam.; spatha 5--10 cm longa, rubrimarronina; lamina spathae extus pallidiori versus apicem, intus alba, dilute suffusa marronina; tubo spathae intus atrimarronino; pistilla (5)6--9-locularia; loculi (1)3--4-ovulati.

Usually hemiepiphytic, rarely terrestrial; vining or appressed-climbing, stem appressed-climbing to somewhat scandent, sap tannish; internodes scurfy, 4--12 cm long, 2--3 cm diam., much longer than broad, medium green, drying reddish brown, epidermis smooth or irregularly folded and ridged, sometimes fissured with minute cracks perpendicular to axis, drying with folds longitudinally and usually with fissures transversely; roots dark brown, to 50 cm long, 1--2 mm diam.; cataphylls thin, 15--36 cm long, 1-ribbed to sharply 1-ribbed, or sharply 2-ribbed, green, tinged red, speckled violet-purple, deciduous, rounded, apiculate at apex; petioles 14--41.5 cm long, 6--10 mm diam., more or less terete or to slightly thicker than broad, or bluntly D-shaped, firm, medium green, tinged violet-purple at base and apex, bluntly flattened adaxially; geniculum 9 mm long thicker and paler than petiole; blades narrowly ovate, subcoriaceous to coriaceous, strongly bicolorous, acuminate at apex (the acumen sometimes apiculate, inrolled, 5 mm long), usually weakly subcordate, sometimes obtuse, truncate or rounded at base, 25--52 cm long, 6--26 cm wide (2--3.37(4.2) times longer than wide), (1.1--1.8(2.30) times longer than petiole), upper surface dark green, semiglossy, drying yellow-brown, lower surface much paler and with dark secretory canals, weakly glossy to matte, drying yellowish to reddish brown; sinus arcuate, 1--1.5 cm deep when present; midrib broadly convex or weakly raised to flat, pale green above, bluntly acute and thicker than broad, reddish slightly paler than surface below; basal veins lacking; primary lateral veins (6--7)8--10(11--13) per side, departing midrib at a 30--40E angle, weakly and narrowly sunken above, raised and paler than surface below; minor veins weakly visible, arising from the midrib only, often interspersed with intermittant secretory ducts, the surface often minutely granular below. INFLORESCENCES 2--10 per axil; peduncle 2--6 cm long, 4--6 mm diam., green, tinged red to reddish; spathe recurved (curved downward), semiglossy, 5--10 cm long (1.2--2.5 times longer than peduncle), reddish maroon throughout; spathe blade paler toward apex outside, white, weakly tinged maroon inside; spathe tube 3--4 cm long, dark maroon inside; spadix sessile; cylindrical to clavate, protruding forward at anthesis, 5.8--7.5 cm long, more or less uniform throughout; pistillate portion pale green to yellowish green, cylindrical to slightly ovoid, 2--3.5 cm long, 5--7 mm diam. throughout; staminate portion cream to white, cylindrical or clavate, 3.4--5 cm long, 6--9 mm diam. at base, 9--10 mm diam. at middle, 5--9 mm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex, broadest at or above the middle, or equally broad throughout, as broad as or slightly broader than the pistillate portion; sterile staminate portion not detectable; pistils 1.4--1.7 mm long, 0.5--1.4 mm diam.; ovary (5)6--9-locular, 0.7 mm long, 0.7 mm diam., locules 0.9--1.2 mm long, 0.3--0.4 mm diam., ovule sac 0.4--1 mm long, with sub-basal placentation; ovules (1)3--4 per locule, 1-seriate, contained within translucent ovule sac, 0.2--0.4 mm long, longer than funicle; funicle 0.1--0.2 mm long, (can be pulled free to base), style 0.2--0.4 mm long, 0.4--0.6 mm diam., similar to style type B; stylar canals tiny, difficult to see emerging; style apex flat; stigma discoid or subdiscoid, unlobed, 0.4--0.5 mm diam., 0.1--0.2 mm high, covering entire style apex except for the center; the androecium truncate, margins 4--6-sided, sometimes weakly scalloped; thecae oblong, 0.1--0.3 mm wide, more or less parallel to one another. INFRUCTESCENCE with berries white, 3.3 mm long, 2.4 mm diam.; seeds ca. 6 per berry, reddish brown, 1--1.1 mm long, 0.3--0.5 mm diam.

Flowering in Philodendron heleniae occurs in Panama during the late dry season and much of the rainy season, March through October (except April, May, and September). South American collections broaden that range to include the whole year (January through December, except May and September). Post-anthesis collections have been made from June to October.

Philodendron heleniae ranges from Panama (to be expected in the Cordillera de Talamanca in eastern Costa Rica) to Ecuador, from 20 to about 1040(--1450) m elevation in Tropical wet forest and Premontane rain forest in Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. In addition, it occurs in pluvial wet forest in Colombia.

Philodendron heleniae is a member of P. sect. Calostigma subsect. Oligocarpidium. This species is characterized by its scandent habit, internodes much longer than broad drying with longitudinal folds and usually transverse fissures, petioles terete to bluntly D-shaped, and narrowly ovate, subcordate yellow-brown drying blades with dark secretory canals visible on the lower surface. Especially characteristic are the clusters of 2--10 small, inflorescences with externally red spathes.

Philodendron heleniae can be confused with P. lentii, which also comprises more or less scandent plants with subcordate leaf blades. That species differs, however, in having one to two large, mostly white inforescences per axil and more broadly ovate blades drying with many, pale, sunken veins on the upper surface and no dark secretory vessels on the lower surface.

Specimens from the Pacific slope of South America (e.g., Croat 58424, Tipaz et al. 1318) are on average larger, with leaves ranging up to 60 cm long and 30 cm wide and with spathes occasionally to 12 cm long. Still, these probably do not differ sufficiently to represent even another subspecies.

Lawrance 817 from Boyacá Department at El Humbo (at 914 m in the Río Magdalena drainage) in Colombia closely matches the material from the Pacific slope. If it proves to be P. heleniae it would be the first collection from the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes.

Some South American collections from the Amazon basin may belong to this species. These collections are from both Colombia (Pipoly et al. 15892, 16027 in Amazonas) and Ecuador (Gudiño 1160 and Thomas & Ríos 6708 in Pastaza Province and Cerón 3360 and Bennett et al. 4526 in Napo Province). However, most of the collections from the Amazon basin do not mention spathe color though Gudiño 1160 indicates the spathes to be greenish red.

Particulary interesting is Thomas & Ríos 6708, with spathes described as becoming creamy white, something which never happens with Central American material of Philodendron


The species was first collected in 1970 by Jim Luteyn and Helen Kennedy in the vicinity of El Valle in Coclé Province, Panama. It is named in honor of one of the collectors, Helen Kennedy, who at the time worked for the Missouri Botanical Garden as the Curator of Summit Herbarium.

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Additional specimens examined.

PANAMA. Bocas del Toro: Fortuna Dam area, Gualaca--Chiriquí Grande, 6.6 mi. N of bridge over Fortuna Lake, 780 m, 8E45'N, 82E18'W, Croat 66780 (MO). Coclé: El Valle region, La Mesa, 800--900 m, 8E38'N, 80E09'W, Croat 67154 (AAU, CM, KYO, L, MEXU, MO, PMA, TEX, US); El Valle, 5 mi. N of town, 2200 ft., Hammel & Kress 13427 (DUKE); 8 mi. N of El Valle ca. 880 m, Luteyn & Kennedy 1734 (DUKE); 880 m, Croat 37576 (MO); 860 m, 8E37'N, 80E08'W, Croat & Zhu 76738 (AAU, CM, DUKE, M, MO, S, SEL, TEX); slopes of Cerro Gaital, 800--900 m, 8E37'N, 80E07'W, McPherson 11209 (L, MO, NY, P). Darién: Río Tuquesa, 2 km by air from Continental Divide, vic. of mining camp of Tyler Kittredge, Croat 27097 (CAS, F, K, MO, PMA, US). Panamá: El Llano--Cartí Road, 10.1 mi. above Inter-American Highway, 325--350 m, Croat 67351 (MO, NY, PMA, US, WIS); Mile 6.8, 350 m, 49106 (MO); Mile 10, 330 m, 33778 (F, MO), 33817 (MO); Mile 7, 460 m, 9E19'N, 79E59'W, 75114 (CAS, MO); 550 m, 9E43'N, 78E60'W, 60502 (MO); Mile 10.6, ca. 400 m, 9E17'N, 78E58'W, Miller et al. 869 (HUA, MO, PMA); El Valle de Madroño--La Saena, 2.5 mi. N of El Valle de Madroño, 180 m, 9E14'25"N, 79E05'W, Croat & Zhu 77048A (MO); Cerro Jefe--Cerro Brewster ["Panama/San Blas"], 600--800 m, 9E17'N, 79E17'W, Hammel & de Nevers 13553 (MO). San Blas: El Llano-Cartí Road, 1--5 mi. N of Nusagandi, 250--300 m, 9E16'N, 79EW, Thompson 4660 (CM, MO); Nusagandi--Cartí Road, 400 m, 9E18'N, 78E58'W, McDonagh et al. 93 (BM, MO); ca. 350 m, ca. 9E15'N, 79EW, McPherson 9762 (MO); 350 m, 78E15'W, 9E19'N, de Nevers & Todzia 3530 (COL, MO, PMA, QCA, RSA, TEX); 10.1 mi. N of Interamerican Highway, then ca. 0.5 mi. N, Paseo Mariska near road, 300 m, 9E20'N, 79EW, Croat & Zhu 77020 (MO); El Llano-Cartí Road, 23--29 km from Pan-American Highway, 300--400 m, 9E22'N, 78E69'W, Knapp 1830 (MO); 1840 (MO, PMA); Km 15, 350 m, 9E20'N, 78E58'W, Galdames et al. 1288 (PMA); km 17--19, 350 m, 9E19'N, 78E55'W, de Nevers & Herrera 7963 (CM, MO, US); Cerro Obu, 400--500 m, de Nevers et al. 8068 (MO, NY). Veraguas: Santa Fe region, Alto Piedra--Calovébora, Río Dos Bocas Valley, 350--400 m, Croat 27370 (F, K, MO, PMA); 27397 (MO).

COLOMBIA. Antioquia: Medellín--Bogotá, 12.4 km from entrance to San Luis 800 m, 5E59'N, 74E59'74"W, Betancur et al. 622 (MO); 4.8 km E of San Rafael, 1040 m, 6E18'N, 75EW, Brant & Roldán 1486 (HUA); Quebrada Honda, Río Guatapé, Orozco et al. 898 (COL); Río Guatapé, 1250 m, Orozco et al. 955 (COL); San Carlos, Finca "El Desespero," Alto de Samaná, near Miraflores, 4 hrs. SW of Alto de Samaná, 710--820 m, 6E5'N, 74E56'W, Callejas et al. 8628 (NY); San Luis, Medellín--Bogotá, La Tebaida, 1010--1060 m, 6E8'N, 75E10'W, Callejas et al. 4015 (MO); Sector Río Samaná--Río Claro, 750 m, Hernández et al. 551A (HUA); San Luis--Puerto Triunfo, SE of Granada, S of San Carlos, ca. 3 km SE of San Luis, ca. 800 m, 5E57'N, 74E57'W, Croat 52038 (COL, MO, NY); Gómez Plata--Yolombo border, Sector La Cancana, along Río Porce, km 14 via Amalfi, 1030 m, Callejas et al. 2338 (MO); Sonson, Rioverde region, Hacienda "La Soledad," on the banks of Quebrada "Curubital," Gutiérrez 35552 (UC); Amalfi--Fraguas, NE of Salazar, 23--26.5 km from center of Amalfi, 1220--1300 m, 6E58'N, 74E59'W, MacDougal et al. 4042 (MO). Chocó: Bahía Solano, S of airport, ca. 100 m, 5E13'30"N, 76E21'30"W, Croat 57458 (CHOCO, COL, JAUM, MO, US); ca. 2 km E of Playa de Oro, ca. 200 m, 5E20'N, 76E23'W, Croat 57424 (CHOCO, COL, MO); Mecana (N of Bahía Solano), Quebrada Resaquita, 30 m, Juncosa 2536 (MO); Quibdó--Istmina, 6.6 km S of Quibdó, <100 m, 5E33'N, 76E37'W, Croat & Cogollo 52156 (MO); Río Pató, Las Animas--Pató, Serranía de Baudó, 10 km SE of Pató, 5E17'N, 76E45'W, Croat 56071 (MO), Croat 56107 (MO); Río Sucio, Cerro del Cuchillo, zona de Urabá, 520 m, Cárdenas 468 (MO); Parque Nacional de Utría, Río San Pichí, 0--100 m, 6E20'N, 77E20'W, García & Agualimpia 458 (MO); Río San Juan, Quebrada del Taparal, 5-20 m, Cuatrecasas 21462 (F). Risaralda: Mpio. Mistrato, corregimiento San Antonio de Chamí, vereda la Unión, carretera hacia La Mesenia, 1450--1700 m, 5E28'N, 75E54'W, Betancur et al. 3520 (MO). Valle: Cali--Buenaventura, Río Digua valley, 1 km E of La Cascada, 340 m, Croat 38579 (MO, PMA); Bajo Calima area, Quebrada La Sierpe, 5 m, 4E10'N, 77E10'W, Forero et al. 4006 (MO); Bahía Málaga, 0--20 m, 4EN, 77E30'W, Gentry et al. 53362 (MO); carretera Gasolina 6 km S of main road between Calí--Buenaventura highway and Málaga, 50--80 m, 3E56'N, 77E07'30"W, Croat 69411 (CM, MO); 22.3 km beyond Pulpapel Headquarters, 4E02'N, 77E07'W, Croat 61275 (CUVC, MO). ECUADOR. Carchi: Tulcán, Reserva Indígena Awá, 650--100 m, 1EN, 78E24'W, Tipaz et al. 1318 (MO, QCNE). Esmeraldas: Lita, 550--650 m, Madison et al. 4990 (F, K, SEL); Lita--San Lorenzo, Km 18, 0E55N, 78E28W, Croat 72389 (MO); San Lorenzo, Mun. Ricaurte, Reserva Indígena Awá, 300 m, 1E10'N, 78E32"W, Tipaz et al. 2068 (MO); Río Jordán, NE of Las Golondrinas, near San Isidro, 300 m, 0E20'N, 79E12'W, Palacios 11485 (MO, QCNE). Imbabura: Lita, 600 m, Cobb 29 (MO). Pichincha: Río Verde, 2 km SE of Santo Domingo de Los Colorados in Cooperative Santa Marta #2, 530 m, Dodson 7403 (MO, QCNE); Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Río Baba, 28 km S, 350 m, Dodson & Thien 1187 (MO).