HISTORY OF THE GENUS PHILODENDRON
Though Philodendron apparently figured in preColombian folklore, art and medicine during the sixteenth century and herbarium material was collected by Georg Marcgraf as early as 1644 (Mayo, 1990), it was Charles Plumier who made the first effective introduction of the genus to European scientists (Mayo, loc. cit.) In all he collected five or six species inhabiting Martinique, St. Thomas, and Hispaniola, giving phrase names beginning with 'Arum' or 'Dracunculus'. See Mayo (loc.cit.) for a detailed account of Philodendron collections made by other late seventeenth century and eighteenth century explorers, including Hans Sloane in Jamaica and N.J. Jacquin in the West Indies, Colombia and Venezuela.
Jacquin's expeditions resulted in the first species of Philodendron to be published as new to science, albeit as an Arum, A. ligulatum Jacq., a member of Philodendron subg. Pteromischum. His trips also resulted in Philodendron hederaceum, the first member of P. subg. Philodendron to be published new to science, as Arum hederaceum Jacq.