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RE: [Aroid-l] Philo selloum ID

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Philo selloum ID
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 10:16:53 +0000

From : 	Sherry Gates <TheTropix@msn.com>
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:23 PM
To : "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : [Aroid-l] Philo selloum ID

Attachment : DSC04314.JPG (0.24 MB), leaf1over50nchestiptotip.JPG (0.30 MB)

Well Hello Sherry!

I have looked at the two photos of your impressivly large Philodendron, and have an opinion on what it may be, BUT---if you can suppy just a few more photos (I`ll detail what is needed, below) we may be able to nail it down for certain. Take a photo (close-up) of the area where the petioles attach to the rhizome that shows the intravaginial squamules (little longish (3/4" or so, dark brown/blackish 'spines' that follow the scars left from the leaf when it falls off).
I`d also like, if poss., to see a photo of the structure that you describe as looking like a little pig-tail, that occures at the point on top where the leaf blade meets the petiole. Were the blooms about 14" or more long from the base of the spathe to the tip, green exterior, cream interior??
OK, to me this looks like a 'normal' but VERY healthy ADULT plant of Philodendron bipinnatifidum (commonly called and sold as P. "selloum"). When grown under ideal conditions around here in Florida, these plants can and usually do become HUGE in around 5-8 years, and will have developed a long, impressive rhizome ("trunk"), in some older plants over 10-15 ft. long, 8-10" dia.! These plants LOVE to attach to palm trunks with seemingly special roots, and will then grow up the trunk, I have seen a plant around 15 ft. tall when attached to a palm! When not growing in good conditions, the same plants will mature at a smaller size.
We must also bear in mind that for the past few years all P. 'selloums' sold (millions!) have been produced ONLY by tissue culture, ALL are clones of the same plant. Previous to this (maybe 15-20 years ago??) all plants of this used to be produced by hand-pollination, the seeds thus produced being planted, so there USED to be much genitic variability between the plants thus produced and then sold. One can still observe this if one is lucky enough to find a VERY old group of these plants that were installed 'back in the good old days' BEFORE tissue culture. Some are larger than the 'usual', some have many more 'fine' divisions to their leaf-blades, there are differences in color and texture to the leaf viens, petioles, even the color of the spathes, but all are most probably P. bipinnatifiddiom (= P. "selloums").
When we see the new photos requested, we may be able to nail the ID of your HUGE plant down for certain!
Good Growing and enjoy your monster!


Hi everyone,
I have a large Philodendron selloum that I found hacked down on the side of the road last May. It was dark when I found it, so all I could tell immediately was that it was very big and had about a 4 1/2 ft. trunk. I brought it home and soaked it in a large wagonfull of water with Ironite, Superthrive, and a starter fertilizer (just a little weaker than they called for) for about 5 days, then we planted the stalk about 3 ft. deep. The entire plant is much larger than even the biggest P. selloums I've looked at, and I have done some serious looking! The leaves were over 50 in. long. and easily 36 in. across. The veins are larger, the flowers, the petioles...everything about this plant is much larger than others. Where the leaf meets the petiole (on top) there is a growth that starts out like a little pigtail, and grows into a strange leaf or plantlet or something. It has rooted since, but hasn't resumed growth just yet, but is definitely alive.
I am hoping that maybe y'all might have an answer about it. I'm including a picture, if you want to see more pics...just ask. I took several after it was planted and still had the huge green leaves.
Since I found it, it seems like my husband & I have looked at every big selloum we've seen since. We haven't seen anything like it. It's absolutely beautiful!
Thanks for letting me take up your time. :)

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