Lacy-Tree Philodendron – Philodendron bipinnatifidum (formerly P. selloum)

Common Name: Lacy-Tree Philodendron

Botanical Name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum (formerly P. selloum), fil-o-DEN-dron

Decorative Life: Years.


Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Araceae (arum family), its common relatives include calla, anthurium, caladium, pothos, dieffenbachia and aglaonema.
  • Native to southeastern Brazil.
  • In its native habitat, stems can grow rather high (up to 30 plus feet), leaf nodes short with prominent leaf scars. Leaves up to one meter, bright green, reflexed, ovate in outline and divided. While not grown for its flowers, the spathe is about 12 x 2 inches, green to dark purple-red externally while being cream with red margins within.
  • The name ‘Barryi’ refers to hybrids between the formerly distinct species.
Storage Specifics:

Chill sensitive, store at 55-60F.

  • 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.
  • Philodendron: Greek for tree-loving, in reference to its native growing habit.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Recent Research Findings:

As summarized by Brown (1988) of the work by Wolverton et al. (numerous years), this is one of many foliage and flowering plant species that can remove air pollutants such as formaldehyde and/or benzene often found in cigarette smoke from interior environments.

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