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Re: Philodendron williamsii. It isn't what most collectors think!

  • Subject: Re: Philodendron williamsii. It isn't what most collectors think!
  • From: brian lee <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 13:02:38 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Steve,

Aloha.  I think that a lot of the confusion of
Philodendron williamsii, Philodendron spiritus-sancti,
and Philodendron stenolobum arise out the geography of
the area.

First of all, the name P. spiritus-sancti is derived
from the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil.  
Philodendron spiritus-sancti is found near the town of
Domingo Martins, Espirito Santo state, Brazil.  North
of this town is the town of Santa Leopoldina...a
source of much confusion for a host of Philodendron
horticultural names.  Further to the north is the town
of Santa Theresa....which is where the Augusto Ruschi
Museum is.  I do not know the exact limits of the
distribution of Philodendron stenolobum , but we found
it as we approached the region of the Rio Doce, in
Espirito Santo state.  At the time, Philodendron
stenolobum was thought to be Philodendron williamsii
because Simon Mayo was actively working on
Meconostigma.  I met him at Roberto Burle-Marx's sitio
before he published his treatment.  In fairness to
Simon Mayo, he had to work with only a few specimens
and incomplete material.  He also thought that the
Espirito Santo state plants differed from the
Brazilian state of Bahia population...which is where
the true Philodendron williamsii is found.  Bahia
state is to the north of Espirito Santo state. 
Northern Esprito Santo and Southern Bahia have a
really interesting floral link. To add to the
confusion, Philodendron stenolobum has been referred
in the horticulture trade as Philodendron 'Espirito

I hope this clarifies the situation a bit.



--- ExoticRainforest <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>

> In response to what I sent earlier, I just uncovered
> a note from aroid expert Leland Miyano which
> confirms Philodendron stenolobum does grow in the
> same area as Philodendron spiritus-sancti.  I can't
> find anything to indicate Philodendron williamsii
> comes from that region.  I suppose the plant could
> be known as Espirito Sancti as well.  I just hate to
> see plants other than Philodendron spiritus-sancti
> using the name since it is so rare and valuable to
> the members of the International Aroid Society.
> Steve Lucas
> www.ExoticRainforest.com
> Additionally, many websites including a very popular
> garden site used by aroid collectors now call
> Philodendron williamsii "Espirito Sancti". That name
> comes from a small city in SE Brazil where the plant
> Philodendron spiritus-sancti G.S. Bunting can be
> found. There are now only 6 known specimens of that
> plant left in nature and it is extremely rare in any
> collection. Although no specific plant owns the name
> Espirito Sancti (it is a common name) it is most
> often applied to Philodendron spiritus-sancti. This
> page may help you to better understand that
> controversy:
> > _______________________________________________
> Aroid-L mailing list
> Aroid-L@www.gizmoworks.com
> http://www.gizmoworks.com/mailman/listinfo/aroid-l

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