Re: Rhaphidophora Decursiva = Philodendron ? NO!


Todd

Saw your mail about Rhaphidophora vs Philodendron and felt driven to 
put finger to keyboard. Rhaphidophora hasn't been 'retired' in favour of 
Philodendron. Both are 'good' genera and are, in fact, not even closely 
related (other than both being in Araceae). 

Rhaphidophora is in tribe Monstereae along with Monstera, Scindapsus, 
Rhodospatha, Amydrium, Alloschemome, Stenospermation and 
Epipremnum. Tribe Monstereae is grouped with tribes Spathiphylleae 
(Spathiphyllum & Holochlamys), Anadendreae (Anadendrum) and
Heteropsideae (Heteropsis) in subfamily Monsteroideae.
Philodendron is the only genus in tribe Philodendreae and is most 
closely related to tribes Homalomeneae (Furtadoa and Homalomena) and 
Anubiadeae (Anubias) and probably also linked to tribe Culcasieae 
(Culcasia and Cercestis (including Rhektophyllum)), and belongs to 
subfamily Aroideae.

Having bored most subscribers silly with the above, the question 
remains as to what the plant in Huntington is.

>From your description of the leaves and, especially, the glaucous 
infructescences, I would GUESS that the plant IS Rhaphidophora 
decursiva (tropical and subtropical Himalaya, extending to N. 
Thailand, N. Vietnam, Laos and 'tropical' China). However, I'd need to see a 
specimen of the leaf and a ripe infructescence to be sure. If it is 
a Rhaphidophora then each ovary of the fruit would contain many small 
ellipsoid seeds with a smooth, rather brittle, seed coat. 

Another  possibility is that it could be Epipremnum pinnatum is one 
of its MANY manifestations. Plants of E. pinnatum from Cebu, 
Philippines, are notably glaucous, especially the infructescences. 
However, the lack of leaf lamina perforations doesn't support this 
being E. pinnatum, which is invariably perforate. Alternatively, it 
might be a Monstera. Although I am not aware of a species with 
glaucous infructescences, I don't know  Monstera at all well and 
you'd be best asking Tom Croat if there are any Monstera that might 
fit the bill.

Pete

P. Boyce
Herbarium
RBG Kew
p.boyce@lion.rbgkew.org.uk




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