ContentsPhilodendron malesevichiaePhilodendron squamipetiolatum

Philodendron squamicaule Croat & Grayum, sp. nov.

TYPE: Panama. Code: vie. El Cope, on western slope, just S of the old saw-works area, 700 m, 838'N, 8035'W, 12 July 1994, Croat & Zhu 76798 (holotype, MO-4613255-5; isotypes, B, CAS, CM, COL, CR, F, G, K, MEXU, NY, PMA, US, VEN). Figures 374, 381-384.

Planta hemiepiphytica; internodia brevia, 1 8 cm longa, 2-3.5 cm diam., dense squamata; cataphylla 27-34 cm longa, incostata, rosea vel rubella aut rubribrunnea, persistentia semi-intacta; petiolus teres vel subteres, 28- 61 cm longus, 1 cm diam., dense squamatus, squamae purpurascentes; lamina ovato-triangularis, 26 53 cm longa, 17.5-40 cm lata, sagittato-cordata basi; nervis lateralibus I dense puberulis infra; inflorescentia usque 5; pedunculus 3.5-8 cm longus, olivaceus, dense squamatus; spatha 15 17 cm longa; lamina spathae exius viridalba, intus diluta viridi, suffusa rubra, dense squamata; tubo spathae omnino viridi, suffuso rubro; pistilla (3)4(5)-locularia; loculi 20 28-ovulati.

Hemiepiphytic; appressed-climbing, stem 3 20 cm long; internodes short, densely scaly with deltoid, sometimes bifurcated scales, mixed with fewer acicular scales, drying reddish brown, 1-8 cm long, 2 3.5 cm diam., longer than broad, semiglossy, dark green, soon gray-green, finally tannish to brownish, drying straw-colored to reddish brown to brown, completely hidden by old cataphylls; roots few per node, slender, drying brownish; cataphylls fleshy, 27 34 cm long, unribbed to bluntly 2-ribbed, yellow-green, pink to reddish, or reddish brown, densely long-scaly throughout with a sparse underlay of tuberculate structures, drying reddish brown, persisting as semi-intact pale fibers, sometimes with patches of epidermis, soon deciduous; margins folded in to form groove.

LEAVES erect-spreading; petioles 28 61 cm long, ca. 1 cm diam., erect-spreading, terete to subterete, purplish to dark brown, surface densely scaly, 1.5-4 mm long, flattened, with a sparse underlay of tubercules; sheathing briefly only near or at the base; petiolar scales of two types, short purplish scales deltoid or broader than high, less than 0.2 mm high, these interspersed with much longer, spreading light green acicular scales, 3-5 mm long, both types of scales drying reddish brown; blades ovate-triangular, thinly coriaceous to subcoriaceous, conspicuously bicolorous, short acuminate to acute at apex, sagittate-cordate at base, 26 53 cm long, 17.5-40 cm wide (1 1.5 times longer than wide), (0.7 1.1 times longer than petiole), broadest at the petiole attachment, margins hyaline, upper surface medium to dark green, semiglossy to sometimes almost matte above, slightly paler, light to silvery-green, glossy to semiglossy below, drying reddish brown on both surfaces; sometimes with sparse whitish raphide cells; anterior lobe 21 28 cm long, 18 26 cm wide (2.2 2.8 times longer than posterior lobes), margins straight to weakly concave; posterior lobes 8 10.7 cm long, 7.1 11.5 cm wide, directed toward the base to somewhat outward, broadly rounded; sinus parabolic to hippocrepiform on younger leaves, mitered on older leaves, 3.5 17 cm deep; midrib flat to sunken or deeply sunken and concolorous above, convex to broadly round-raised, concolorous to paler to light reddish below; basal veins 5 12 per side, with 0(1) free to base, third and higher order veins coalesced 2 6 cm long; posterior rib naked for 3-4.5 cm, densely scaly on both upper and lower edges; primary lateral veins 5 9 per side, departing midrib at a 30-45 angle (55 angle near base), moderately straight to the margins (the lowermost veins somewhat branched near the margins), deeply sunken and concolorous above, brown to reddish, round-raised and densely puberulent below; tertiary veins visible, slightly raised, darker than surface; minor veins moderately distinct below, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins; "cross-veins" sometimes moderately distinct on lower surfaces on drying.

INFLORESCENCES to 5 per axil; peduncle 3.5-8 cm long, olive-green, densely scaly, especially near apex, peduncle and spathe with scales of 2 lengths, both long and acicular, 1 2 mm long, much shorter and broader deltoid to tuberculate; spathe 15 17 cm long, 2 4.8 times longer than peduncle, moderately constricted above the tube, green, densely to sparsely scaly outside, shortly acuminate at apex spathe blade sometimes greenish white outside, to 5.5 cm diam., light green, tinged red near base inside; spathe tube ellipsoid, green, tinged red, covered with greenish scales (except for 5 mm along margin to 3 cm along infolded edge near base) outside, ca. 6 cm long, to 3.5 cm diam., reddish violet inside except greenish near tip inside; spadix 13.2 cm long; pistillate portion pale green to dirty-white, to 4.2 cm long in front, 3.6 cm long in back, 12 mm diam. at apex, 14 mm diam. at middle; staminate portion 11.5 cm long; fertile staminate portion 1.2 cm diam. at base, 1 cm diam. at middle, 7 mm diam. ca. 1 cm from apex; sterile staminate portion 1.2 cm diam.; pistils 1.22 mm diam.; ovary (3)4(5)-locular, with axile placentation; locales 1 1.2 mm long; ovules 20 28 per locule, 2-seriate, ca. 0.2 mm long, longer than funicle; style similar to style type D; style apex flat; style boss narrow, fairly shallow; stigma hemispheroid, 0.7-0.8 nun diam., 0.2 mm high; the androecium prismatic, margins irregularly 4 6-sided, 1.4 1.6 mm long, 1.4 1.6 mm diam.; sterile staminate flowers prismatic, margins irregularly 4 6-sidcd, 1.1  1.2 mm diam.

INFRUCTESCENCE with peduncle to 11 cm long, 8 11 mm diam.; spathe to 23 cm long, 1.7 cm diam., dark punctate in part and drying light brown inside; spathe tube 9 9.5 cm long, reddish, spathe blade to 14 cm long; spadix to 21 cm long; pistillate spadix 6 8.5 cm long, 3.2 cm wide; pistils 4.2 mm long, 2.7 mm diam.; locules to 3.3 mm long; fertile staminate spadix 11.5 cm long, 1.1 cm diam. midway; sterile staminate spadix 2.5 cm long, 1.4 cm diam.; staminate flowers to 3.3 mm long; berries white; seeds to 18 per locule, 1 mm long. JUVENILE plants terrestrial, scandent; lower surface of blades purplish violet. PREADULT plants with internodes 2-30 cm long, 0.5-1.2 cm diam.; petioles 8.5-18.5 cm long, 2-3 mm diam.; blades 14 28 cm long, 15 22 cm wide. Flowering in Philodendron squamicaule occurs in the early rainy season from May through August. Mature fruits have been collected in early December.

Philodendron squamicaule ranges from Costa Rica to Esmeralday Province, Ecuador, from <100 to 1250 m elevation in pluvial forest. Premontane wet forest, and Premontane rainforest life zones. In Central America it has not been collected below 550 m elevation.

Philodendron squamicaule is a member of P. sect. Philodendron subsect. Achyropodium. This species is recognized by its appressed-climbing habit, moderately thin, triangular-ovate, semiglossy blades, and especially by its scaly stems, cataphylls, petioles, peduncles, and outer surfaces of spathes and densely puberulent major veins on the lower blade surface.

Philodendron squamicaule is apparently closest to P. serpens Hook. f., which was described from a cultivated plant from an unknown Colombian locality. The latter species differs in having oblong-ovate blades, sometimes with a constriction above the posterior lobes, with 4 5 basal veins on the most well developed blades (in contrast to 6 12 basal veins). In addition, P. squamicaule has a coarse row of scales extending along both edges of the posterior rib and densely puberulent primary lateral veins, neither of which was described for P. serpens. Philodendron serpens also differs in having glabrous, rather than scaly, peduncles and spathes.

Philodendron squamicaule is probably related to P. verrucosum, which also has densely scaly petioles. That species differs, however, in having longer petioles (more than 30 cm long vs. less than 30 cm for P. squamicaule), and broadly ovate blades that are velvety and matte above and matte with frequently purplish areas along the veins below (vs. usually solid green below in P. squamicaule). Both species have a similar number of primary lateral veins, but the veins arc much more closely spaced in P. squamicaule than P. verrucosum.

Click on the Thumbnail to enlarge the picture.