Contentsfossile historyIntrageneric Relationship


The fossil history of the Araceae was reviewed recently by Grayum (1990). The records are scant and inconclusive but macrofossils of Araceae were present which showed the family to be relatively diverse by the early Tertiary (Daghlian, 1981; Gregor & Bogner, 1984) and at least four modern subfamilies were present by the Oligocene. No fossil pollen definitely ascribed to Philodendron has as yet been encountered (Grayum, 1990). A plant fossil from Tennessee believed to be a Philodendron, and described as P. limnestis Dilcher & Daghlian (Dilcher & Daghlian, 1977) has proven to be a member of Peltandreae, either Peltandra Raf. or Typhonodorum Schott (J. Bogner, pers. comm.). This fossil was believed by the authors to be a member of P. subg. Meconostigma and Mayo (1991) discusses in detail why he believes that it can not be a Philodendron, instead comparing it most closely with Typhonodorum.