Philodendron hederaceum var. miduhoi
This photo was submitted by Steve Lucas to the ID Center, he wrote that:Bluesea wrote on 2006-08-23:
It is velvety similar to a P. gloriosum and somewhat resembles P. andreanum.
It creates long vines and is a climber. This leaf is close to 1 foot (30 cm).
Then there was a very long discussion on Aroid-L
if it is a species, variety or form of Ph. hederaceum. You can read it all below.
I wondered if Steve's Philo from someone in Hawaii could be P. hederaceum var. miduhoi.
I don't think it's P. melanochrysum, which is darker and leaf more elongated in climbing mode.
That said, photos
can show leaf colors lighter or darker than they really are, but the leaf shape doesn't work for me for melanochrysum.
Tom Croat wrote on 2006-08-26:
It depends on if you are really talking about elements of Philodendron hederaceum or if you have something else.
P. micans and P. miduhoi are certainly synonyms. There are vaguely recognizable subspecies which I treated but you would scarcely notice the differences.
Alternatively you must remember that you may be seeing only two or three varients of something that is infinitely variable throughout its range.
Collect a plant from Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and Brazil and take them back to Florida
and you might be able to distinquish each of them indefinitely but remember that if you collected from all the populations throughout the range of the species
you would be hard pressed to find any way place where you could draw the line between one population and the next.
That is the nature of evolution and also the nature of horticultural elements that you are looking at only small bits of a spectrum.
Now, of course it is also possible that you really are dealing with misdetermined plants.
Steve Lucas replied on 2006-08-30:
I have two other examples of this plant. One has quite a bit smaller leaf blades, the other does not have as dark colored undersides to the leaves.
I have traded quite a few emails with Dr. Croat over this and he says they are all still the same species. He's given several examples as to why.
The best way I understand it is since the plant has such a wide range(almost 2000 miles) it has evolved and changed slightly in different ways over that wide range. Much the same as people are different in various parts of the world.
But people are still all the same species, just different races. I believe that is what Dr. Croat is saying about this plant. As collectors we like to call those "races of plants" variations.
I believe that is probably acceptable for collectors but is botanically sometimes of no use since the variations are so slight. The original photo from the collector in Hawaii (where the plant obviously was an "escapee") apparently showed a strange growth form.
Strange enough it even confused the Doc for a while. But the cuttings she sent to both me and the Doc do not exhibit the same growth form and appear to be simply P. hederaceum.
On my site I have opted to accept Dr. Croat's explanation and call it P. hederaceum. But I have also listed the commonly accepted synonym names. However, I've gotten quite a bit of email as a result of my posting telling me the "Dr. is nuts". As you know, once a collector gets used to a pet name for a plant it is very difficult to give that name up even if it is wrong.
Dr. Croat has assured me there is no such variation as P. hederaceum var. miduhoi. There is a synonym P. miduhoi which the Doc says is simply P. hederaceum.
Dr. Croat has been very kind to me personally by answering my emails sometimes almost daily. Last night he sent me three notes about this subject and others.
Sometimes he surprises me and even reads what I write on my website and makes critical comments.
Since I do not know what he may or may read on my site I dare not argue with him publicily even if I don't fully understand his explanation. I value his knowledge and help too much.
As a result I have adjusted the text on my website to reflect what he has told me.
The specimen may eventually prove to be something more complicated, possibly a hybrid, but at the moment I'm sticking with the scientific name as Dr. Croat has identified the plant.
I am spending a day with the Dr. in early October and this plant will be one of the things I wish to ask more about.
Personally, I understand the need for some collectors to use variation names in order to know which variation they are speaking about.
But in pure botanical science the Dr. seems to believe they have little value.
|photo © Steve Lucas|
page created on 2008-07-27
last updated on 2008-07-27