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Re: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons.

  • Subject: Re: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons.
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 20:42:35 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Donna,

    Dispersers in aroids are even more poorly known than pollinators! Most 
species of Philodendron have ripe berries greenish or cream colored, that 
are usually inconspicuous. That aspect make them not so attractive to birds. 
However, most of them have a very strong smell of butyric acid (rancid 
butter). Such combination of aspects (together with pendent infructescens) 
make them strong candidates for bat-dispersed (or non-primate mammal 
dispersed) fruits. That is the case of most Philodendron subgen. 
Meconostigma (self-heading), and in fact the majority of species. Monkeys 
are usually curious herbivores and will taste everything they can put their 
hands (four hands) on. So they usually are found eating Philo seeds too. 
They are found eating everything, including our field snacks! It is true 
that some Amazonian species (including P. elaphoglossoides and others) have 
fruits that are bright red and showy. The berries are usually easy to pick 
as an unity, that make them serious candidates for bird dispersed fruits.
   Well, I am not so good with bromeliads (in fact, I think that the concept 
of genus in Bromeliaceae is almost senseless), but the plants are 
Vriesia-like.  Ok, I know, it is not so informative... I think I have such 
information in home (I am in the lab right now), so I will write again 
later. Whatever, I donīt think there is a specific association, but I have 
NEVER found a "bromeliadless" P. leal-costae!
   There are other species that usually start to grow in bromeliads, 
including another Philo subg. Meconostigma from the Atlantic Coast (P. 
corcovadense). Seeds usually germinate in the tanks, probably because of the 
permanent water source. However, they are too big to spend his whole life 
growing there, so they send out roots to the soil and start to grow as an 
hemiepiphyte. This is a common association, but other species occasionally 
germinate in the tanks. It is a good place to be if you are a Philodendron 
seedling germinating in the canopy. Even in the rain forests, it is hard to 
keep a constant water supply if you are 30 m from the ground. Maybe 
Philodendron leal-costae it is just more specialized (once again, maybe 
because it grows in places where the water is not promptly available all the 

>From: SelbyHort@aol.com
>Reply-To: aroid-l@mobot.org
>To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
>Subject: Re: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons.
>Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 10:13:47 -0500 (CDT)
>How are seeds of Philodendron leal-costae distributed, by birds perhaps? 
>seeds go through the gut or craw of some animal before they can germinate 
>large bromeliad tank?
>This species seems to always bring up many unanswered cultural questions
>since so few are found in gardens anywhere. Eduardo, have you been to 
>and observed whether it will only grow associated with a specific bromeliad
><<     What about put it in the tank of a monster Vriesea-like bromeliad,
>  like it occurs in the wild? I couldnīt try this method because I do not 
>  room for something like this in my collection. In near future, maybe I 
>  grow a big tank bromeliad, with plenty of Anthurium bromelicola, A. 
>  and Philodendron leal-costae, all of them known to grow in places like 
>  (together with some frogs, snakes and mosquitoes, that are also found in
>  those tanks)
>   >>

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