Philodendron pterotum K. Koch & Augustin, in A. Braun et al.,
Append. gen. sp. Hort. berol. 1854: 6. 1854-1855. TYPE: Cultivated at Berlin [received from Warzewicz in Venezuela]. (holotype, B?; lost). Panama. Canal Area: vic. Fort Sherman, along road between Gatún Locks and Fort Sherman, ca. 3 mi. W of Gatún Locks, <50 m, 9E19'N, 79E57'30"W, 17 July 1994, Croat & Zhu 76982 (neotype, MO--4619421--26, here designated; isoneotypes, AAU, B, CAS, CM, COL, CR, DUKE, F, GB, GH, K, MEXU, P, PMA, QCA, RSA, SEL, VEN, W). Figures 311--312, 315--316.
Philodendron mirificum Standl. & L. O. Williams, Ceiba 3: 38. 1952. TYPE: Costa Rica. Puntarenas, near Palmar Sur de Osa, 75 m, 24 Mar. 1951, Allen 6031 (holotype, EAP; isotype, F).
Usually hemiepiphytic or epiphytic; stem appressed-climbing, semiglossy, sap watery, weakly turpentine-scented, leaf scars conspicuous, 2 cm long, 1 cm wide; internodes sometimes obscured by cataphylls, sparsely short-striate, about as long as broad or sometimes longer than broad, 2--8 cm diam., dark green to gray-green, eventually brown, epidermis sometimes cracking, fissured longitudinally; roots short, few per node; cataphylls 20--30 cm long, sharply 2-ribbed, C-shaped, semiglossy, dark green, densely pale lineate, persisting as reddish brown, semi-intact fibers, eventually deciduous; petioles (37)47--111 cm long, (3-5)6--13(16--22) mm diam., erect-spreading, D-shaped, marginally winged, broadly convex adaxially, with adaxial margins slender, erect, undulate, medium green, weakly glossy, conspicuously pale striate; sheath with margins involute; blades ovate, subcoriaceous, semiglossy, moderately bicolorous, abruptly acuminate at apex (the acumen inrolled, 2--4(6) mm long), broadly cordate at base, 36--93 cm long, 22--84 cm wide (0.7--1.5(2.9) times longer than wide), (0.6--0.9 times the petiole length), margins weakly undulate, upper surface dark green, lower surface much paler, glossy, drying yellow-green; anterior lobe 23.5--65(84) cm long, 22.1--75(86.4) cm wide (1.1--2.8 times longer than posterior lobes); posterior lobes 12--33 cm long, (11)15--34 cm wide, directed inward, broadly rounded to broadly obtuse; sinus spathulate to rhombic; basal veins 7--10 per side, first free to base, part of remainder coalesced 1--6 cm, loosely so distally; posterior rib naked to 6 cm; midrib flat to broadly sunken, paler than surface above, convex to narrowly rounded, paler than surface below; primary lateral veins 3--6 per side, departing midrib at a 45--55E angle, more or less straight to weakly arcuate to the margins, deeply sunken, paler than surface above, raised to convex, paler than surface below; interprimary veins weakly raised, darker than surface below; the minor veins moderately distinct, arising from both the midrib and primary lateral veins.
INFLORESCENCES erect, 2--4 per axil; peduncle (2)4--12 cm long, 4--13 mm diam., medium green, coarsely white streaked toward apex; spathe 11--29 cm long (1.4--3.8(5) times longer than peduncle), more or less cuspidate at apex; spathe blade light green outside, greenish white inside; spathe tube abruptly delineated from tube, reddish to purplish to dark purple-violet (B & K purple 2/10) or dark green and raised-white-striate at base outside, red to magenta inside; spadix weakly stipitate, exserted from the spathe, constricted above sterile staminate portion; pistillate portion pale green, 4.3 cm long in front, 3.8 cm long in back, 2 cm diam. at apex, 1.7 cm wide at base; staminate portion 16--18 cm long; fertile staminate portion white, 1.7 cm diam. at middle; sterile staminate portion 1.4--2.2 cm diam.; pistils 2.2--2.8 mm long, 1.1--1.4 mm diam.; ovary 6-locular, with axile placentation; locules 1.5--1.9 mm long, 0.4 mm diam.; ovules ca. 20 per locule, 2-seriate, somewhat translucent, 0.2--0.3 mm long, longer than funicle; funicle 0.1--0.2 mm long, adnate to lower part of partition, style similar to style type B; style apex flat to weakly rounded; stigma subdiscoid to weakly hemispheroid, sometimes weakly lobed, 1.5 mm diam., 0.5 mm high, covering entire style apex; the androecium truncate, prismatic, margins irregularly 4--6-sided, 0.7--1.5 mm long; thecae oblong, 0.4 mm wide, not contiguous, more or less parallel to one another; sterile staminate flowers irregularly 4--5-sided, 1.5--2.5 mm long. INFRUCTESCENCE with spathe green at base and tip, purple around fruiting area when ripe, berries pale brown to white. JUVENILE and PRE-ADULT plants with petioles flattened adaxially; blades broadly ovate. PRE-ADULT blades broadly ovate, 28.5 cm long, 22.5 cm wide.
Flowering in Philodendron pterotum occurs in the early rainy season from May through August based on both specimens and field observations; it certainly must flower during part of the dry season as well, since post-anthesis collections have been made as early as March. Other post-anthesis collections have been made in April and May but especially in June. Immature fruits have been collected in February, March, May, July, October, and November, especially October. Mature fruits have been collected only in November.
Philodendron pterotum ranges from Nicargua to Central Panama, from sea level to 1900 (mostly below 700) m elevation in Tropical moist forest and Tropical wet forest life zones. In Nicaragua, it occurs only on the Atlantic slope, but in Costa Rica and Panama, it occurs on both slopes.
Philodendron pterotum is a member of P. sect. Philodendron subsect. Platypodium. This species is characterized by its broadly ovate juvenile leaves with flattened petioles, appressed-climbing adult habit with short internodes, persistent cataphyll fibers, D-shaped petioles with slender, erect, undulate, marginal wings, large, ovate, yellow-green drying blades with large inflorescences with the spathe tube reddish to purplish on the outside and much darker magenta within.
No type material has survived for P. pterotum. The species was described from cultivated material of a juvenile plant purportedly received from the "little garden of Cl. Augustin" which the tireless traveler (Mr. Augustin) collected from Warszewicz in Venezuela. It is important to note that it was not said to have been collected in Venezuela (where it does not occur) but only that it was obtained from Warszewicz in Venezuela. There is much uncertainty involved, since the extrapolation of juvenile forms to adult plants is at best risky, even when one at the type locality. Given the frequency of mishaps involving the dispersal of living material among horticulturists and botanical gardens, there is always the chance of a mislabeled plant.
Still, while it is not possible to confirm the true nature of Koch & Augustin's plant, it is certain that the plant which Schott illustrated in detail (Icones #2478, #2480, #725, and #726) really does represent the plant currently being called P. pterotum. Although Central American species does not occur in Venezuela, Koch and Augustin seemed not to state that the plant received from Venezuela had been collected there, only that it had been received from Warscewicz in Venezuela.
Krause (1913) in their revision of Philodendron, cited only a Wendland collection from Costa Rica. That collection is neither at Göttingen (GOET) nor Berlin (B), and must be lost. Since Engler reported the Wendland collection to be alive at the Berlin Botanical Garden and since Wendland made much of his material available to Schott, it might have been that it was the Wendland material from Costa Rica that Schott illustrated, rather than the Koch material received from Venezuela.
Whether these two elements corresponded to the same species is conjectural, but Schott would have conceivably had the opportunity to compare both, and it is reasonable to assume that he made the correct interpretation and that his use of P. pterotum for the Central American species is correct. In any event, there is a need for a neotype specimen and no specimen actually seen by Koch, Schott, or Engler and Krause still exists. Therefore, a modern collection has been chosen here as the neotype.
Philodendron pterotum may be confused with P. findens, but that species differs in having blades which dry usually blackened and promptly split pinnately into segments.
Additional specimens examined.
COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Cañas--Upala, 13.8 km N of Bijagua, 100--150 m, Croat 36448 (MO); Llanura de San Carlos, 18--22 km N of Aguas Zarcas, 60 m, 10E31'N, 84E24'W, Burger & Stolze 5186 (CR, F, US). Heredia: La Selva Field Station, Grayum 2064 (MO); Hammel 8150 (MO). Puntarenas: Golfito, 90 m, 8E39'N, 83E11'W, Croat 67613 (MO, US); N of Palmar Norte, trail to Jalisco, 50--700 m, Croat 35170 (MO); Palmar Norte--Panamanian border, 110 m, Croat 79197 (CR, INB, MO); San Vito de Coto Brus--Neily, Fila de Cal and Cuesta Fila de Cal, 300--600 m, 8E41'N, 82E56.5"W, Hammel 14161 (MO); Carara Reserve, Quebrada Bonita, ca. 35--80 m, 9E47'N, 84E36'W, Grayum et al. 5721 (CR, MO); Isla del Caño, 40 km NW of Corcovado National Park, Gómez 19963 (MO); Corcovado National Park, 0--39 m, 8E42'N, 83E52'W, Janzen 11546 (MO); 11600 (MO); 0--200 m, 8E29'N, 83E36'W, Liesner 2850 (CR, MO); 1--10 m, Kernan & Phillips 1026 (CR, MO); Osa Península, ca. 5 km W of Rincón de Osa, 50--200 m, 8E42'N, 83E31'W, Burger & Gentry 8867 (CR, F, MO, NY); Quebrada Aguabuena--Quebrada Banegas, ca. 5 km W of Rincón de Osa, 300--400 m, 8E42'N, 83E33'W, Grayum 4066 (CR, MO); vic. Boscosa, Croat & Hannon 79245 (INB, MO); Río Claro, along Inter-American Highway, 30 m, Croat 32945 (MO). San José: San Isidro del General--Dominical, 9 mi. SW of Río Pacuar, 680 m, Croat 35372 (MO); Puriscal, Z.P. La Cangreja, 800 m, Morales 2031 (CR). NICARAGUA. Zelaya: Siuna--Matagalpa, ca. 12.9 km before Caño Piedra del Balsamo, <200 m, Stevens 8812 (MO); near Bil Tingnia, 6 km NW of Bonanza, 150 m, Neill 3995 (MO); Cerro Baká, ca. 6.5 km E of Río Coperna, 200--300 m, 13E40'N, 84E30'W, Pipoly 4927 (MO); 4844 (MO); Cerro Waylawás, ca. 100--200 m, ca. 13E38--39'N, 84E48-49'W, Pipoly 4201 (MO); Siuna--Empalme, Caño Calcamo, ca. 5 km al SE de Siuna, ca. 13--40N, 84E45'W, Grijalva & Burgos 1536 (MO); El Empalme--Limbaika, ca. 65 m, ca. 13E39'N, 84E24'W, Stevens 12902 (MO); Cerro Livico, 7 km NE of Siuna, 500 m, Neill 3633 (MO). PANAMA. Bahía Soldado, Cowell 224 (NY). Canal Area: Gatún-Piña, ca. 3 km S of Piña, ca. 50 m, Croat 36929 (MO); Gatún Lake, Hutchison & Wright 2885 (BH, UC, US); Barro Colorado Island, Elmore X20 (F, RSA); Fairchild 3081 (US); Croat 10903 (MO); 10265 (MO, SCZ); 7143 (MO); 6640 (MO, PMA); 6581 (MO, SCZ); 5136 (MO); Bailey & Bailey 328 (BH); along road between Gatún Locks and Fort Sherman, ca. 3 mi. W of Gatún Locks, 1.4 mi. E of Ft. Sherman, 9E18'N, 79E38'W, Croat 69860 (CM, MO); Summit Gardens, Croat 10792 (MO, SCZ). Chiriquí: Puerto Armuelles--San Bartolo Límite, 7 mi. W of Puerto Armuelles, ca. 120 m, Croat 35044 (MO); 1.6 m W of Puerto Armuelles, ca. 50 m, Croat 21933 (MO). Colón: 4 km E of Buena Vista, Quebrada Ancha, 80 m, Nee 7781 (MO, US); Portobelo--Nombre de Dios, 1.2 mi. beyond the junction of the road to Isla Grande, 79E35'W, 9E40'N, Croat 49810 (MO); Santa Rita Ridge Road, 6.5 mi. E of Boyd--Roosevelt Highway, 370 m, 9E21'15"W, 79E44'W, Croat & Zhu 76965 (MO). Panamá: 26.8 km E of Bayano bridge, Folsom 3529 (MO).