Philodendron malesevichiae Croat, sp. nov.
TYPE: Panama. Coclé: vicinity El Valle de Antón, La Mesa, 4 mi. E of ElValle at base of Cerro Gaital, along trail which goes to the S edge and leading to the summit, 830--900 m, 8E36'N, 80E07'W, 25 Mar. 1993, Croat 74818 (holotype, MO--4342656- -57; isotypes, B, COL, CR, F, K, MEXU, NY, PMA, QCNE, US, VEN). Figures 3, 21, 25, 27--28, 281--284.
Planta terrestris; caulis repens; internodia 2--4 cm longa, 1.5--5 cm diam.; cataphylla 21--29 cm longa, leniter 1--2-costata, in sicco rubrobrunnea, persistentia semi-intacta; petiolus teres, 50--56 cm longus, 8--19 mm diam., anguste sulcatus, sparsim squamus in triente superiore; lamina ovato-cordata, 33--65 cm longa, 23--36 cm lata, in sicco atribrunnea supra, flavibrunnea infra, nervis basalibus 6--9 paribus, superioribus 2--3 liberis ad aliquot basim; reliquiarum coalitis 2--4.5 cm; inflorescentia 1--3; pedunculus 5--8 cm longus; spatha 8--20 cm longa; pistilla 5--6-locularia; loculi ca. 19--25-ovulati.
less than 1 m tall, sometimes to 1.5 m, reclining against trees; stem creeping
over the ground but well rooted in the soil; internodes 2--4 cm long, 1.5--5
cm diam., pale green to whitish, moderately glossy, usually totally hidden by
cataphylls, coarsely but faintly white-short-lineate at apex, drying pale brown,
epidermis closely and mostly bluntly ridged with ridges close and cracked transversely;
roots moderately few per node, drying 2--3 mm diam., dark brown, closely ridged
and weakly scaly; cataphylls 21--29 cm long, unribbed, weakly 1-ribbed or weakly
2-ribbed, whitish to maroon or russet, heavily tinged pink toward lower half,
drying dark brown to reddish brown, persisting semi-intact at least toward apex
with an underlying network of pale, anastomosing fibers, the outer surface becoming
fibrous towards the base.
LEAVES erect to erect-spreading; petioles 50--56 cm long, 8--19 mm diam., terete or subterete, dark green, tinged purple-violet, weakly glossy, drying dark brown, weakly, obtusely and narrowly sulcate to obtusely flattened adaxially, weakly flattened and often tinged purplish toward apex, faintly striate on surface, sparsely scaly in upper one-third to one-half, scales fine, more or less terete, 1--2 mm long, 0.1 mm diam., green; blades ovate-cordate, subcoriaceous, moderately bicolorous, acuminate to long-acuminate at apex, prominently cordate at base, 33--65 cm long, 23--36 cm wide, upper surface subvelvety-matte, dark green, drying dark brown, lower surface semiglossy, moderately paler, drying medium yellow-brown; anterior lobe 23--48 cm long, 23--36 cm wide; posterior lobes narrowly rounded, 8--25 cm long, 12--14 cm wide; sinus hippocrepiform, 8--14 cm deep; midrib concave, concolorous or paler above, convex or thicker than broad, much darker olive-green and matte, sometimes tinged maroon near base below, drying darker than surface; basal veins 6--9 per side, with upper 2--3 free to base, part of the remainder coalesced 2--4.5 cm; posterior rib naked for 0.5--3 cm, moderately straight; primary lateral veins (3)5--10 per side, 1.7--2.2 cm apart, departing midrib at a 45--60E angle, downturned acutely at the midrib, weakly sunken to weaky quilted above, convex and darker below, often branching toward the margins, drying blackened; interprimary veins persistent in lower half of blades; minor veins moderately visible but not distinct when fresh, moderately distinct on drying, weakly undulate, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins.
INFLORESCENCES 1--3 per axil; peduncle 4.5--8 cm long, to 4 mm diam., pinkish red, coarsely white lineate toward apex, drying blackened; spathe 8--20 cm long, 1--2 cm diam. when furled, to 5.5 cm wide when open (7--11 cm wide when fully flattened), (2.5)3--3.7 times longer than peduncles, acuminate at apex (acumen 2.5 cm long), semiglossy, in Central America, pale yellow-green, darker green toward middle, white along margins, sometimes tinged with pink, the open margin sometimes violet-purple outside; greenish white and matte throughout within, in South America, spathe tube somtimes reddish outside, dark red to red-violet, suffused onto lower one-half of blade inside; spathe blade to 15 cm long, white within; spathe tube 7.5--8.5 cm long, to 4.3 cm diam. at anthesis; spadix weakly stipitate; 14--15.5 cm long; pistillate spadix (3.4)4--4.3 cm long in front, 2.8--4 cm long in back, 11--16 mm diam. at apex, 1.2--1.8 cm diam. at middle and base; staminate portion 10--13 cm long, 1.2--1.5 cm diam. at base, 1.5--1.8 mm diam. midway, 8--12 mm diam. 1 cm from apex, constricted to 1.5 cm diam. above the sterile portion; sterile staminate portion to 3.4 cm long, 20 cm diam. at base, 10--18 mm diam. at apex; pistils 1.1--2.4(3.5) mm long, 1.2--5 mm diam.; ovary 5--6-locular, with axile placentation; locules 1.3--1.6 mm long; ovules 19--25 per locule, 2--3-seriate, ca. (0.1)0.25--0.3 mm long; funicle as long as or shorter than ovules, 1/3-2/3 as long as the ovule; stigma 1--1.5 mm diam., depressed medially; style similar to style type B, 1 mm diam.; style apex flat to weakly concave; stylar canals arising at base of apical depressions; stigma discoid, 0.8 mm thick, 1.5--18. mm diam.; the androecium truncate to more or less prismatic, margins irregularly 4--6-sided, many 6-sided, ca. 0.6 mm long; thecae oblong, more or less parallel to one another; sterile staminate flowers clavate, irregularly 4--5-sided to ovoid, 0.9--1.3 mm long.
Flowering phenology in Philodendron malesevichiae in Panama is uncertain. All flowering collections are from South America. Flowering collections have been made in February and March and post-anthesis collections in March, July, and December. Cultivated collections from Panama grown at the Missouri Botanical Garden flowered in May, June, July, November, and December.
Philodendron malesevichiae ranges from Panama to Colombia. In Panama it is only known from the type locality in Tropical wet forest at 830 to 860 m in Coclé Province. In Colombia it has been collected only along the Pacific Coast in Chocó and Valle at 50 to 150 m elevation.
Philodendron malesevichiae is a member of P. sect. Philodendron subsect. Achyropodium. This species is characterized by its terrestrial, creeping habit, short internodes, weakly 1--2-ribbed cataphylls, drying reddish brown and persisting semi-intact, subterete, narrowly sulcate petioles which are conspicuously scaly in the upper one-third, and ovate-cordate brown-drying blades with up to eight basal veins, largely coalesced and naked along the hippocrepiform sinus.
This species is most easily confused with P. glanduliferum. The latter species differs in having fewer primary lateral veins (2--4 versus 6--10 for P. malesevichiae), posterior ribs which are not at all naked, and a narrow closed or spathulate sinus (versus hippocrepiform in P. malesevichiae).
In Panama there are three other species which have petiolar glands of some form and thus might be confused with P. malesevichiae. These are: P. hammelii, P. verrucosum, and P. squamipetiolatum. Philodendron hammelii differs in its smaller, green-drying blades and petiolar scales mostly less than three times longer than broad. Philodendron verrucosum differs in its mostly appressed-climbing habit, scaly cataphylls, inflorescences and even parts of the lower blade surface, and velvety and matte (rather than semiglossy) upper blade surface. Philodendron squamipetiolatum differs in its appressed-climbing habit, long internodes, deciduous cataphylls, green-drying blades and scaly inforescences.
Zarucchi & Escheverry 4776, from 2000 m elevation in Antioquia Department, Colombia, may also belong to this species. It is described as having a deep wine-red (rather than green) spathe.
This species is named in honor of Petra S. Malesevich, who has loyally worked with me on all aspects of the Philodendron revision. This species is in cultivation at the Missouri Botanical Garden and it is deemed a beautiful addition to horticulture.
Additional specimens examined.
PANAMA. Coclé: La Mesa, above El Valle de Antón, 860--900 m, Croat 37319 (MO); base of Cerro Gatital, 860 m, 8E37'N, 80E08'W, Croat & Zhu 76707 (CAS, MO, PMA).
COLOMBIA. Chocó: hills above junction of Río Capá and Río Mumbú, up river from Lloró, 80--120 m, 5E37'N, 76E25'W, Juncosa 1448 (MO). Valle: Buenaventura, Bajo Calima region, Buenaventura--Málaga, Km 65--66, 40--65 m, 4E10'N, 77E12'W, Croat 71057 (COL, MO); 100 m, 4E4'N, 77E09'W, 70162 (CAS, COL, L, MEXU, MO, NY, PMA); Km 49, 150 m, 4E02'N, 77E04'W, Croat & Bay 75810 (B, CM, COL, F, GB, M, MEXU, MO, PMA, US); Buenaventura--Río Calima, 33.3 km beyond main Cali--Buenaventura Highway, 50 m, 4E02'N, 77E07'W, Croat 61377 (AAU, COL, MO, PMA, TEX, US); near Km 14 marker, <50 m, 3E56'N, 76E59'W, Croat 57547 (CM, COL, G, JAUM, MO).