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Philodendron linnaei


Philodendron linnaei Kunth

Family Name: Araceae
Synonyms: Philodendron linnaei var. linnaei, Philodendron decurrens, Philodendron nobile, Philodendron notabile


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Climber, Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical South America
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Aroid. Herbaceous hemi-epiphytic climber, whose leaves overlap to form a tight rosette when plant is young, and a loose or partial rosette in mature specimens. Nest-like rosette structure enables plants to collect fallen debris as a means of moisture and nutrient storage. Typically up to 30cm height if grown in a container.
Foliage Leaves obovate, with distinct apiculate tip, smooth and slightly leathery, green above and maroon-reddish below, with sunken midrib. Young leaves and runner-tips reddish.
Flowers White, small and inconspicuous, produced in the form of spathe and spadix inforescences. Separate male and female flowers clustered on a columnar spadix, which is protected by a hooded red and white spathe (modified leaf). To avoid self-pollination, female flowers become receptive during the late afternoon or evening of the first day, while fertile and sterile male flowers are produced the next day. Sterile male flowers emit pheromones, which attract pollinator beetles.
Fruit White berries, eaten by birds, monkeys and other rainforest fauna, which disperse the seeds via droppings.
Others - Plant Morphology Runners: Occasionally produced, usually near apical meristem (terminal growing tip), either leafless or with isolated leaves at nodes. Stem internodes relatively long (up to 30cm or more), as compared to much shorter internodes (1.3-2.5cm) for rosette portions of plant. Once a suitable spot is located, runners take root and resume rosette form of growth.
Habitat Attached to host trees in moist lowland rainforests, fairly widespread in northern Amazonian basin.
Similar Closely resembles a slower-growing South American relative Philodendron insigne, which attains larger mature sizes and has a more pronounced rosette habit, but does not produce runners. Form and foliage also supeficially resemble those of the unrelated Asian forest understorey shrub Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah), whose leaves are narrower and also finely-serrated along the margins.
Cultivation Provide moisture-retaining but very well-drained media like orchid potting mixes, peatmoss, sphagnum moss and perlite. Propagate by runners, stem cuttings or seeds.
Etymology Genus epithet Philodendron' derived from Greek terms 'phileo' (to love) and 'dendron' (tree), meaning 'tree-loving' -- a reference to the tree-climbing habits of plants from this genus. Species epithet 'linnaei' named after Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), best known as the father of modern taxonomy for having established the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature, which became universally accepted in the scientific world for the naming of organisms.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Suitable for Hanging Baskets, General, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp), Carrion Insects (Carrion Fly, Carrion Beetle))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Rootzone Tolerance Easy to Grow, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Stolon / Runner


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Red
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Leathery, Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Rosulate / Rosette
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Mucronate
Typical Foliar Area Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous, Runner / Stolon
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Red, White
Inflorescence Type Spathe & Spadix
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Inflorescence Size Remarks Spadix changes from reddish to white.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) White
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 29434
Species ID 3743
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.