Monday, May 18, 2009

Recent Aroid Acquisitions

I have had three recent acquisitions of new plants from generous friends.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my trip to see Steve Lucas's tropical atrium.  I mentioned that Steve was kind enough to take cuttings of several of his plants and shared them with me.  I have also received some plants (most of them Aroids) through the mail recently from some of my plant friends.  Plant friends are great!  I thought I would bundle all my new plants into one post.  Most of them are Aroids, but there are a couple of plants from outside the Aroid family.  Here's all of them:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Philodendron mayoi from Steve Lucas"]Philodendron mayoi[/caption]

Steve has A LOT of Aroids, many of them Philodendrons.  This particular Philodendron (P. mayoi) was named after a noted botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London - Dr. Simon Mayo.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Philodendron erubescens from Steve Lucas"]Philodendron erubescens[/caption]

Philodendron erubescens has really neat cataphylls that roll up into tight coils.  Many cataphylls are herbaceous, eventually turning papery and falling away.  These cataphylls are more persistent though.  The inflorescence of this Philodendron is a really beautiful red.  There are pictures on Steve's website, if you're interested.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Philodendron 69686 from Steve Lucas"]Philodendron 69686[/caption]

This is likely a naturally-occurring hybrid from Brazil, commonly mislabelled as Philodendron Joepii (named after Joep Moonen).  There has been much confusion regarding this plant and it has yet to be given a name.  It retains the number until a registered cultivar name is assigned.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Philodendron mexicanum from Steve Lucas"]Philodendron mexicanum[/caption]

This is beautiful Philodendron with a wonderful leaf shape and a nice red mottling on the undersides of the leaves.  By the way, Steve told me that noted Aroid collected Roberto Burle-Marx only collected plants for their interesting leaf shapes and didn't care what their names were.  I found that very interesting.  There are a number of plants named after him.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Philodendron biliettiae from Steve Lucas"]Philodendron biliettiae[/caption]

This Philodendron has a bright orange stem and very distinctive, long leaves.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Philodendron atabopoense from Steve Lucas"]Philodendron atabopoense[/caption]

This Philodendron has a really cool coloration.  The undersides of the leaves, which you can't see from the picture, are red.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Alocasia gageana from Steve Lucas"]Alocasia gageana[/caption]

Steve has so many of these Alocasias spreading in his atrium every year that he has to rip them out and throw them away by the end of the summer season!  Can you believe that?  I helped him by removing one plant this Spring. :)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Rhaphidophora tetrasperma cuttings from Beth"]Rhaphidophora tetrasperma cuttings from Beth[/caption]

I have enjoyed pictures of this Aroid for quite a while.  I went in search of a plant and found a friend, as well! :)  A fellow plant enthusiast (Beth in Mississippi) agreed to send me a cutting.  Actually she sent three and included some more surprises in the box, as well!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="large variegated Monstera deliciosa cutting from Beth"]large variegated Monstera deliciosa cutting from Beth[/caption]

Monsteras are wonderful Aroids, best known for their leaf fenestrations.  Beth sent me this large cutting of Philodendron 'Pink Princess' (below), which is a gorgeous hybrid.  Apparently she has several pots of this plant that each have 5 stems this size!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="large Philodendron 'Pink Princess' cutting from Beth"]large Philodendron Pink Princess cutting from Beth[/caption]

She also threw in two really cool non-Aroid plants - Synadenium grantii 'rubra' and a variegated Pedilanthus tithymaloides.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="2 stems of Synadenium grantii 'rubra' from Beth - rooting in Vermiculite"]2 stems of Synadenium grantii rubra from Beth[/caption]

Beth told me that Synadenium roots very easily and quickly.  I have planted my two stems in moist Vermiculite, which has been the best rooting substance I have used in the past.  Beth also warned me to be careful with the sap of this plant, which will burn the skin worse than anything else she has ever encountered.  Vegetable oil can be used to remove the sap.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Pedilanthus tithymaloides from Beth"]Pedilanthus tithymaloides from Beth[/caption]

After a little research I found that Pedilanthus is a synonym for Euphorbia.  [I have a gigantic Euphorbia post prepared for Wednesday.  Stay tuned!]  This plants is sometimes called "Devil's Backbone" or more favorably "Japanese Poinsettia."  If I'm lucky, it will eventually produce small red or pink flowers at the top of the stems.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Philodendron hastatum from mr_subjunctive"]Philodendron hastatum from mr_subjunctive[/caption]

A fellow blogger noticed that I had a plant on my wish list that he had seen locally.  He bought the plant, sent it to me and I reimbursed him for his troubles.  This Philodendron has a different name everywhere you see it.  It is commonly called Philodendron glaucophyllum (or glaucaphyllum), though I am told the true species name is hastatum.  Some common names used are "Silver Metal Philodendron" or "Blue Philodendron."  Regardless, it is a very cool plant, and this one is in great condition.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Aglaonema 'Gold Dust' division from mr_subjunctive"]Aglaonema Gold Dust division from mr_subjunctive[/caption]

Mr. Subjunctive had a large Aglaonema that he didn't mind sharing.  He split off a large division and sent it to me.  He also included another cool, little foliage plant in my box - Pellionia pulchra.  He didn't provide it's name right away, to allow me to track it down.  I think I had seen pictures of this plant, but it took me some time before I got to the source.  Along the way I thought it might be in the Cissus genus or possibly even a Begonia.  My wife noted that the leaves are asymmetrical, which is true of all Begonia leaves.  Eventually I found the identity in one of my plant books - Ortho's Complete Guide to Houseplants.  It's a Pellionia pulchra, which is in the same family (Urticaceae) as another genus of common foliage houseplants - Pilea.  Pileas are the plants commonly called "Aluminum," "Watermelon" and "Friendship" plants.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Pellionia pulchra from mr_subjunctive"]Pellionia pulchra from mr_subjunctive[/caption]

That's a lot of new additions!  Thanks, Steve, mr_subjunctive and Beth, for the wonderful plants. :)


  1. What great additions - rather envious here - but I have run out of room anyway. Great plants.

  2. Hi there Zach & Christie,

    I enjoyed looking at all your wonderful pics. I would like to know if you could hook me up with Beth. I have been looking for a good size cutting of the Pink Princess philodendron and I have never seen the silver variety of Philodendron hastatum. I have a tiny Pink Princess, but would like a larger cutting seeing how this plant grows so very slow. I would be willing to pay for shipping and any costs that might entail. So, please let me know if you can help your new friend Ernesto in California. I collect variegated foliage and I might have something you would like to have from my collection . Hope to hear from you soon.

    Ernesto Gallegos!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Today I was researching the name of a cutting my brother in law gave me. This was the perfect site to find my answer, as in this blog you are describing my cutting. Your plants are all beautiful!! Thanks for helping me find the name Philodendron 'Rojo'