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  Fw: [Aroid-l] Philodendron hastatum
From: "Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest" <steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2007.03.23 at 11:05:15(15468)
Title: Re: [Aroid-l] Philodendron hastatum

Johathan and all,

Although I'm still unsure who was the original author for
Philodendron hastatum, I too spent the better part of a year chasing
this one down. The story of what I learned is explained on my website

K. Koch and Sello are listed on most databases but the name P.
hastatum is also credited to several others. I have been unable to figure
out for certain who was the original but Engler would appear to be so due to the
year of publication.

The description of the plant known to science as
Philodendron hastatum has been left unchanged since it was described
more than 160 years ago. There are at least two variations to the species,
both of which are shown on my site. The most commonly collected is the
blue/green blade which many like to call philodendron glaucophyllum. That
name is not scientific and Dr. Croat referred to is as "made-up". The second form I was able to track down has a somewhat longer blade
that is more green in color. Michael Pascall provided a good photo of that
specimen which I have included.

Now here is where the confusion really got stirred up.
In 1966 Bunting set out to describe what may be nothing more than a
hybrid. No one can locate an origin for this plant. In his description he
clearly states he is giving a name to a plant known in horticuluture as
philodendron hastatum (a common name). That plant he named
Philodendron domesticum. But since people in horticulture had
been incorrectly calling this plant philodendron hastatum (it is not the
Brazilian species) some then decided Bunting had changed the name of the
Brazilian species. That did not happen. You can find it stated on
the USDA, in several encyclopedias, on bunches of websites, and in Deni Bown's
book the name was changed. Botanical rules would prevent that from
happening. If they were the same, and they are not, P. domesticum
would be the synonym. Dr. Croat assures me it has not been changed.

This is another example of where common names often are
confused by horticulturists with the actual botanical name and more weight is
incorrectly given to the common name than the scientific name in error. I
was actually threatened with a lawsuit because I said on my website the name had
not been changed! One popular garden site to this day states philodendron
glaucophyllum is a snyonym of Philodendron domesticum and so is
Philodendron hastatum! I've tried to explain it to them with no
success. They just sent their lawyers after me!

The common name glaucophyllum has no weight at all, it is just
made-up. As such, it cannot be a synonym. And the plant commonly
known as philodendron hastatum (not the Brazilian species) was named by Bunting
Philodendron domesticum. But even in his description he does not
state where the plant is found in nature. Some have speculated it came
from the Guiana Shield but Joep Moonen tells me he has never seen it
there. It is likely just a hybrid that now has a scientific

Once crazy idea did occur to me. What if Bunting was
playing with our minds? He named it domesticum. Domesticum as in
domesticated. Domesticated as in home grown? I don't know, but it
all is very confusing and very strange. Bunting never stated he was
changing the name of the Brazilian species which Dr. Gonçalves explained is
being devastated by the clearing of the forests. By the way, even though
it is common in collections, some sources now claim P. hastatum is
endangered. Eduardo did not confirm that, but did say it may soon
be endangered. You can read his exact quotes on my webpage.

It can be very confusing and took me a long time to figure

Hope this helps!

Steve Lucas

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