Re: Phil. squamiferum et al

Carlo A. Balistrieri wrote:
> Don Burns was recently good enough to send a piece of Phil. squamiferum to
> be inlcuded in my little "teaching" collection. (I use the plants to give
> talks to kids in schools in our area and to other groups).
> What about that peduncle--any ideas on the adaptive purpose for the strange
> protrusions (maybe to prevent crawlers from getting to the leaf? Or perhaps
> to assist in "grabbing" hold as the plant climbs through vegetation?). Are
> there other species with equally interesting appendages?
> Carlo
> Carlo A. Balistrieri, J.D.        Email:
> P.O. Box 327
> Ashippun, WI 53003-0327
> U.S.A.
> Voice:     414.569.1902  Telefax: same number, please call ahead.

Dear Carlo

Philodendron squamiferum has those hairy petioles, but I have found these 
to be somewhat variable amongst different plants. Some have quite long
"hairs" that are a lightish colour on a very red petiole, especially on 
new leaves. As the leaf ages this colour in the petiole slowly fades.

On my own P. squamiferum, the petiole is not so red and the "hairs" are 
shorter. I have a photo of a flowering specimen at Kew Gardens and the 
peduncle is somewhat less hairy than a typical petiole. P.x "Florida" is 
a hybrid of P. squamiferum x P.pedatum and as you would expect the hairs 
are reduced to more like nodules. Less colour too.

The prize for hairy petioles though must go to P.verrucosum, Which in my 
humble opinion is one of the most attractive and desirable philodendrons.

regards Neil

Neil Crafter

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