Philodendrons, Elephant Ears, and Other Aroids forum: Better change your plant tags...Philodendrons may not be philodendrons....

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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 11, 2018 8:34 PM CST
So I was catching up on some reading and I found something interesting. Some common philodendrons a lot of us grow aren't really philodendrons.
I like to read about the taxonomy of my plants (yeah I am a nerd that way) and I was looking at some my stuff and discovered that one of the sub-genuses of the Genus Philodendron, that of Meconostygma, which has been a recognized group since, oh, 1829?? Has been proven by genetic sampling and research to actually be a new Genus....Thaumatophyllum.

Thaumatophyllum has also been around a bit (c1858 or so) and only had one plant member...T. spruceanum, which is also known as Philodendron goeldii.

But of course Philodendron goeldii is incorrect, as the correct genus and species is Thaumatophyllum goeldii.

Other of the more common 'Philodendrons' which have been reclassified as Thaumatophyllums are:
bipinnatifidum (aka selloum)
brasiliense
Xanadu.

There are others, but they are rare and very uncommon in individual plant collections.

So change those tags!
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 11, 2018 9:17 PM CST
That's very interesting. The Catalogue of Life which is updated quite regularly, as of 29 November, 2018 shows it as Philodendron goeldii with Thaumatophyllum as a synonym. http://www.catalogueoflife.org...

I wonder when their next update will be and if it will be changed.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 12, 2018 6:52 AM CST
The new Genus was officially recognized in May of this year so I guess it has to catch up with everything! I mention this not only because I think it is interesting but because people who buy plants need to know that these Thaumatophyllum are not NEW PLANTS they are old plants with new more correct scientific names. Might save someone from collecting two of the same thing thinking they are buying a different wonderful plant.

Lin do you remember when they used to call Thaumatophyllum (philodendron) xanadu the 'miniature P. selloum'? Its not a selloum at all of course it is its own separate species.

And when no one knew that it actually trunked like a tree philodendron because it was so new to the market and slow growing that no one had grown it long enough to see a trunk?

Fun days LOL I remember I think it was Brian Williams posting on a forum we were on all excited saying 'It DOES trunk!! It DOES trunk!!'

Ehhhh plant nerds..... Hilarious!
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 12, 2018 7:49 AM CST
I'm a novice and I find plant names very confusing sometimes ... now with new DNA testing, things are changing so much it's hard to keep track of what's what. I see that apparently Philodendron selloum is now considered a synonym for Philodendron (Philodendron lundii)

I have a Philodendron xanadu and I noticed in our database that it says it's "Also sold as" Philodendron selloum 'Winterbourne' and P. selloum 'Aussie' and trademarked Philodendron Xanadu. Blinking
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 12, 2018 8:19 AM CST
I know right?

I have researched a lot about variegated Monstera. Not recently, I researched it a long while ago when I collected my first ones. There really aren't different 'types' of variegated Monstera according to what I read. 'Thai Constellation' is not a different type that 'albo-variegated'. 'Thai Constellation' was a name thought up by sellers to try to make people think that they had something completely new and different in order to sell more plants. The terms used to describe variegation in vanilla orchids, 'Albo-variegata' and 'Albomarginated' both refer to Vanilla planifolia, just to the different pattern the variegation expresses itself with. 'Albomarginated' being the much more uncommon of those 2.

The truth is, in the Kingdom of the Aroids (LOL) there is a huge amount of variability in the leaves of many plants. It doesn't mean its a different plant. Juvenile leaves are often completely different from mature leaves. Some leaf tips can be more pointed and some more rounded on the same plant.

Variegation is the same. It can be in the form of big splashes, little specks, or a combo. I think some people who make it their business to propagate plants commercially for sale try to pick these traits out and propagate for them....cutting out the pieces of stem that have splashed leaves as opposed to more speckled ones....and get them to replicate themselves. Or taking off a sport that pops up and trying to propagate it and keep the trait (if I recall correctly Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger' was a natural sport of plain old Xanthosoma saggitifolia that someone happened upon and propagated....my Lime Zingers still occasionally throw out chartreuse leaves with a patch of the regular green on them!)
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 12, 2018 9:53 AM CST
Do you know if there a legitimate Aroid cultivar registry? It's sad when people purchase unlabeled plants and just stick any name they come up with on them.

I know that leaf shape is variable but is leaf coloration variable as well? It appears that some M. deliciosa have very white markings/variegation, while others have pale yellow to (Aurea) golden yellow variegation.

Our database entries below, show a few variegated cultivars of Monstera deliciosa. So, are these not legitimate cultivars?

White Variegated Monstera (Monstera deliciosa 'Albovariegata')
Variegated Swisscheese Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa 'Albovariegata Contorta')

White Variegated Borsigiana (Monstera deliciosa 'Borsigiana Albovariegata')
Yellow Variegated Borsigiana (Monstera deliciosa 'Borsigiana Aurea Variegata')

Yellow Variegated Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa 'Marmorata')

Monstera deliciosa 'Thai Constellation'

I, for one, sure miss Steve Lucas from the Exotic Rainforest, he was so knowledgeable and helpful when it came to Aroids.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 12, 2018 3:22 PM CST
As fas as I know, there are only a certain number of species within the genus Monstera. Somewhere in the mid-30's. However, there are over 140 names attributed to Monstera species. Many are synonyms, some are illegitimate because they are taxonomically incorrect and some were just made up by people to sell plants.

Monstera deliciosa has 8 synonyms. Some are legitimate and some aren't. M. borsigiana is an accepted synonym. M. lennea, M. tacanaensis, and Philodendron anatomium seem to be legitimate.

From what I remember reading a long time ago, the designation 'variegata' is the only accepted infraspecific taxon designation for the variegated form. It just refers to a plant within the species of Monstera deliciosa that is variegated not all green. 'Albo-variegata' refers to the white variegation, 'Aurea-variegata' to the gold/yellow variegation.

So when someone entered 'Monstera deliciosa Borsigiana Albo-variegata' they were redundantly describing Monstera deliciosa albo-variegata, because Borsigiana is just a synonym for deliciosa. Ditto for the same one labeled Borsigiana Aurea-variegata'.

The Thai Constellation is just a tag name given to the highly speckled variegated one as opposed to the splashy variegated one.

Th whole game is to make you believe that they have something new. They figure if you think it is a different plant, you will spring for th bucks to add it to your collection.

I have both the yellow variegated Monstera deliciosa and the white variegated. I have leaves that have speckles and leaves that have splashes. They aren't different species of plants. They are all just Monstera deliciosa.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Erica
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Houseplants
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OpieDoodle
Dec 14, 2018 2:28 PM CST
Wow! That's super interesting! Thanks for sharing! I'm going to update my Selloums tag when I get home!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
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ctcarol
Dec 14, 2018 6:51 PM CST
You can always do as the orchid growers and just add the "new" name in parenthesis as a synonym in case they change again. Whistling Hilarious!
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 14, 2018 6:59 PM CST
I just wish they would stop making up names for stuff. Its the correct thing to do if the official scientific body for a family of plants who actually is doing the genetic research is the one who makes the change, but when sellers just looking to make a quick buck start adding new names onto existing plants to make people think they are new plants that's just wrong.

It makes me think of Monstera obliqua. The real Monstera obliqua is so rare, field botanists who specialize in the mapping and specimen collection of aroids in habitat estimate that they have actually seen it in the wild less than 20 times.

Yet if you go online suddenly you will see many plants for sale as Monstera oblique. There are even entries for Monstera obliqua, which is one of the most rare Monsteras in the world, in the plant database. These are really Monstera adansonii.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
[Last edited by Gina1960 - Dec 14, 2018 7:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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plantmanager
Dec 14, 2018 7:06 PM CST
Gina, if the database photos are incorrect, please let the database admins know so they can be changed to the correct place.
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 14, 2018 7:15 PM CST
I don;t want to be the one to tell the owners of those plants that they don't have a plant that was probably last seen in the wild in the 1970's. Supposedly the Botanical Gardens at Rio de Janeiro have preserved leaves from a real M. obliqua. Rare, rare plant. Can't believe it would be sale online for a mere $7.99 LOL.

Its kind of like the Licuala elegans perpetuation....the palm Licuala elegans was last seen alive on a single island in the 1860's. It has never been documented again and is extinct. But palm sellers still sell palms labeled Licuala elegans. Knowing they are not.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Adeniums Plant Identifier
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Carter
Jan 19, 2019 11:54 PM CST
I think plant nomenclature is pretty interesting. There are so many different ways they use to describe and ascribe names, seems often the various ways completely contradict each other - which I think is one reason why we seem to get revisions so often. Just to point out, though, whatever the proper accepted terminology may be, what is commonly called Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana *is* a different variant from the "normal" M. deliciosa. I grow them both (and have for years) and there are very distinct and easily recognizable morphological differences between the two (or more than two when you throw in the green forms as well as the various variegated forms).
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 20, 2019 7:47 AM CST
I think that Dr. Thomas Croat at MOBOT is currently writing a revision of the genus Monstera, although I have no idea when it may be delivered and published, so we will see. The current accepted nomenclature has borsigiana as a synonym for deliciosa. But whatever they are, all are still beautiful plants
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws

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