Some common relatives are aglaonema, pothos, calla and anthurium.
Native to southeastern Brazil.
Stems long, climbing, generally with short internodes. Leaves can be rather large in the wild but are often only a few inches under interior conditions, heart-shaped.
The specific epithet name “cordatum” means heart-shaped in reference to their leaf shape.
Philodendron: Greek for tree-loving, in reference to its native growing habit.
Most are classified as “epiphytes” or air plants as they grow on other plants and elevated supports. They are not parasites but obtain water and nutrients through a spongy covering of their roots.
Generally can tolerate all sorts of neglect. Will grow well in light levels bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort even though they are often exposed to lower light levels and still survive.
Several arum family members (including taro) are grown in tropical regions for their edible tubers, representing starch staples for large populations. Many other species are grown for their beautiful foliage.
Recent Research Findings:
In an earlier (1978) study, Harbaugh et al. showed that this species could be sealed in a polyethylene package and still be marketable when held at room temperature after 60 days.