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Within our collection we have many species of Philodendron.  If you are seeking other photos, click this link

Sold as Philodendron corrugatum Croat The specimen in our photos is highly likely to be

Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat
and not Philodendron corrugatum

Neither species has yet to be published to science and both are being further studied by Dr. Croat. 
As a result neither is italicized.

Philodendron albovirescens

The specimen in our photos is likely Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat
and not Philodendron corrugatum

Philodendron albovirescens is native to the northern and northwestern portions of Ecuador and the western portion of Colombia at elevations ranging from 600 to 1325 meters (1,970 to 4,350 feet).  P. albovirescens has been collected near Chocó and Narino in Colombia but also collected in the country of Ecuador.  According to the collection data listed on TROPICOS in Ecuador the species has been collected near Esmeraldas which is near the Pacific Ocean in northwestern Ecuador.  The species has also been collected near Esmeraldas San Lorenzo west of Lita as well Philodendron albovirescens, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comas collected fairly near Lita in Esmeraldas Province on the western slope of the Andes.  In addition, the species has also been collected near Carchi which is east of Lita    All these locations are near the border with Colombia.   TROPICOS is a service of the Missouri Botanical Garden and can be found at  You can view collection data notes by going to the species name, selecting "specimens" at the top of the page, and reading all the information found by clicking the specimen number to the right of the page.

The first known collection of P. albovirescens was many years ago by Jesuit priest Luis Sodiro.  Sodiro served in Ecuador in the late 1800's through the turn of the 20th century and described 281 taxa of Ecuadorian Araceae, mostly Anthurium species. As a result, Dr. Croat used the name Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat since the name was an unpublished name originally credited to Sodiro.

The best information available indicates Philodendron albovirescens was first collected in modern times in the early 1980's by several collectors.  The highly respected late Lynn Hannon who is renowned as a self taught taxonomy expert and other well known collectors again collected P. albovirescens in the mid 1990's.

Philodendron corrugatum (which is a totally different species with the same general appearance) is endemic or exclusively found in Colombia in the northwest corner as well as the western side of that South American country down to near the western border with Ecuador.  According to collection data listed on TROPICOS, Philodendron albovirescens pubescens, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comspecimens of Philodendron corrugatum have been collected in the vicinity of Chocó, in the Parque Nacional Natural "Las Orquideas", in Antioquia, Urrao northwest of Medillin, near Jose del Palmar which is northwest of Bogota and near Risaralda, Mistrato as well as Valle del Cauca in southwestern Colombia,  All these regions are in either the northwest area of Colombia somewhat near the border with Panama or southwest portions of Colombia and nearer the Pacific Ocean.  Philodendron corrugatum been found relatively near the border with Ecuador.  The species is found at elevations ranging from 600 to 1550 meters (1,970 to 5,085 feet).

Although sometimes available to collectors, neither Philodendron albovirescens nor Philodendron corrugatum have yet to be officially published to science despite
at least one notation on the internet stating that both species were published in 1997.  This personal message from aroid botanist Dr. Thomas B. Croat Ph.D., P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO. received in January, 2008 explains: "the species is not yet described and there are a mess of species to consider first. I was working on a revision of that group with Marcela Mora before she left here for graduate school.   I do not think that P. corrugatum occurs in Ecuador There are several other species that do.  I have a key to 4-5 species in this complex,  Dr. Croat later confirmed that Philodendron albovirescens was yet to be published as well.

Interestingly, our specimen was reportedly collected in Ecuador.   In one of his personal notes Dr. Croat indicated the leaf blades of Philodendron albovirescens have cross veins which are moderately weak and irregularly spaced as well as not strictly parallel.  He also indicated the veins are closely and often irregularly spaced.  As a result there is now a great deal of doubt our specimen is truly Philodendron corrugatum even though it was exported directly from Ecuador and was sold with a tag stating the plant was in fact Philodendron corrugatum.  Instead, our specimen is likely a related species within the complex known as Philodendron albovirescens due to specific characteristics which do not match well to Dr. Croat's published field notes of P. corrugatum.  The differences include narrowly canaliculate (canal-like or "C" shaped) petioles as well as what appears to be pubescence (hair) on the petiole near the apex as well as the mid and basal ribs near the sinus.  The color of the cataphyll and other differences also appear to be apparent but may be explainable due to the age of the cataphyll.  These differences do appear to match well to the known characteristics of Philodendron albovirescens.

As Dr. Croat stated, there are apparently at least four species (possibly five) that appear similar in form and as a result are in the same complex. Based on information from a knowledgeable collector who has personally observed these Philodendron albovirescens pubescens and canaliculate petiole, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comspecimens in Ecuador, at one time two similar species grew together along the first part of the road that originally was used as the Lita to San Lorenzo road.  Philodendron albovirescens was apparently not observed  anywhere else in the area and is likely very limited in distribution.  It is now highly doubtful many specimens remain along this road because the area has been somewhat destroyed and experts familiar with the area indicate the road is almost impassable.  One of the two species that were similar was also less rugose having fewer coarse reticulated lines.  Lita is south of the border with Colombia and northwest of Quito while San Lorenzo is west of Lita. 

As a result, I now believe the plant in our collection likely originated from the Lita area and is the specimen in this complex known as Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat.  My primary reason for this belief is none of the other species in the complex posses the majority of those characteristic. Dr. Croat has reviewed our photos and has determined it is not P. corrugatum and is very likely P. albovirescens.

Philodendron albovirescens grows as a terrestrial species as well as a hemiepiphyte (hem-a-EPA-fit) while Philodendron corrugatum grows both as an epiphyte (ep-a-FIT) and a terrestrial species.   A hemiepiphyte is a species that may begin life as either a terrestrial or epiphytic species and either climb a host tree or grow downwards to set root in the soil.  An epiphyte is a plant that does not necessarily grow on the ground while it both climbs and grows upon another plant, normally a tree.  An epiphyte is capable of never having its roots reach soil since the seeds are placed on the branches of Philodendron albovirescens stem, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.coma tree in the droppings of a bird or animal that has eaten the fruit of a species. 

The leaf blades of both species are subcoriaceous (thin) and the blades are matte in appearance as well as dark green on the adaxial or upper blade surface.   With rugose venation (veins), the blades of each possess a rough wrinkled surface with coarse reticulated lines easily observed.  On our specimen the adaxial (upper) surface is somewhat bicolorous (two colored).  The venation (vein structure) is extremely reticulate and the primaries are not perfectly parallel as well as somewhat wavy which makes it strange in the genus Philodendron.  Philodendron species should have primary veins that are parallel.  On page 169 of the scientific text The Genera of Araceae by Mayo, Bogner and Boyce you can read this quote regarding the characteristics of the genus Philodendron: "primary lateral veins pinnate, rarely pedate. running into marginal vein, secondary lateral and higher venation parallel-pinnate, sometimes tertiaries and higher veins transversely reticulate between secondaries, sometimes all veins slender with no distinct primary laterals."  The photos at the bottom of this page reveal that our specimen has primaries that are distinctly curved in opposing directions.  You can view charts showing normal Philodendron venation on page 171, "C".  In order to compare the venation of our specimen also see to the illustrations on page 168 "A" for Spathacarpa venation. 

This unusual characteristic was brought to my attention by my close friend and aroid expert Julius Boos after his examination of the photos on this page.  Since Philodendron albovirescens was collected, grown and closely examined by Lynn Hannon, Julius had the opportunity to see the specimen in her personal collection as well as in the collection of the late Dr. Monroe Birdsey.  Both Lynn and Dr. Birdsey brought the unusual venation to Julius' attention and were surprised to find this unusual characteristic on the specimen. 

All the leaf veins of both species are prominently sunken on the upper surface but raised on the abaxial (underside).  The smaller veins on the underside are both prominent and perpendicular to the major veins within P. corrugatum.   However, the minor veins of our plant do not always appear to run perpendicular to the primaries and are at least somewhat irregular Philodendron albovirescens cataphyll, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comand curved.  See the extreme close-up photos at the bottom of this page for a detailed view.

The petioles of Philodendron corrugatum, which connect the stem to the leaf blade, are terete (round) with many pale short lines along the axis appearing as pale streaks and similar in appearance to broken striation.  However, in our specimen of what appears to be Philodendron albovirescens the petioles are firm and are canaliculate ("C" shaped) on the adaxial (upper) surface for approximately the lower 2/3 rd's of the petiole's stalk.  In addition there is pubescence (hair) on the upper 1/3 of the petiole which is not observed on Philodendron corrugatum.  The upper 1/3 of most petioles of our specimen appear to be more or less terete.  The pubescence can also be seen on the upper mid rib and upper basal ribs of the blade but they do possess the broken striation. See both photo right, above right and at the bottom of this page for a more detailed view.  The broken lines can be observed on both species.Philodendron albovirescens cataphyll, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas,

The stems of our plant measure up to approximately 4 cm in diameter and the internodes measure approximately 2 to 3 cm long.  The first measurement is slightly higher than published by Dr. Croat for Philodendron corrugatum.  An internode is a segment of the stem between two nodes while the nodes are where leaves may emerge.  In botany the stem is not the support for a leaf as is often thought by collector/growers but instead is the base of the plant.  The petioles which support the leaves are stalk-like and grow from nodes along the stem's length.   The internodes, which are the stem segments between two nodes, separate the nodes.  Detailed photos can be seen at the right, above and at the left, below.

In Philodendron corrugatum the cataphylls which are a modified leaf that surrounds each new leaf as it emerges are green in color as well as weakly 2 ribbed.   On our specimen the cataphyll is currently bicolorous with brown and tan.  That may be due to the Philodendron albovirescens teticulum dried cataphyll, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comfact our current cataphyll has already begun the process of drying since as the cataphyll dies it dries to fibrous materials which are persistent (remaining) on the specimen turning both light brown and becoming a fine net-like reticulum of fibers similar in shape to a spider's web.  That reticulum of fibers can be observed on both Philodendron corrugatum and Philodendron albovirescens (see photo, left).

Cyclocephala beetles feeding on Philodendron pollen, Photo Copyright 2008, Marc Gibernau, FranceAll Philodendron species are aroids. An aroid is member of the larger family Araceae and is a plant that reproduces by producing an inflorescence known to science as a spathe and spadix. Most people believe the spathe is a "flower" which it is not. The spathe is a specially modified leaf whose purpose is to protect the spadix at the center of the spathe. On the spadix there can be found very tiny male, female and sterile male flowers when the plant is at sexual anthesis.  When ready to reproduce, the male flowers produce pollen and the female flowers are receptive to the pollen from another specimen of the same species also at male anthesis.  The sterile flowers produce a scent known as a pheromone and the male flowers provide food in the form of a protein found in the pollen.  Both of these work together to attract a pollinating insect.  The pollinating insect, which is almost always a beetle from the genus Cyclocephala, eats the pollen and uses the spathe as a form of warmth and protection from the cool forest nights.  Although the photo (right) illustrates Cyclocephala beetles eating pollen on a Philodendron, the specimen shown is not the spathe and spadix of either Philodendron albovirescens nor Philodendron corrugatum.

In addition to the pheromones the beetle is apparently attracted to the inflorescence by a bright "glow" visible to the beetle's antennae or some unknown sensor on its body (but not the eyes) as a result of the infrared heat produced during anthesis which causes the temperature of the spathe and spadix to increase significantly during sexual anthesis.   Infrared heat is not visible to the human eye but is easily visible to many insects.   The infrared heat can easily be felt on the open palm of your hand if held at close range to the spathe during anthesis.  Once the female flowers are pollinated by the beetle carrying pollen on its legs and body from another plant of the same species the Philodendron will produce berries containing seeds  The inflorescence of Philodendron corrugatum has a spathe that is green to cream Philodendron albovirescens canaliculate petiole, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comon the outer surface but is red inside the spathe's tube with pink inside at places.  The Philodendron albovirescens internodes and nodes, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas, www.ExoticRainforest.comspadix is pale yellow.  No information is currently available regarding the coloration of the spathe of Philodendron  albovirescens.  As yet no inflorescence has not been observed on our specimen. 

For a more through explanation of the sexual reproduction of aroid species read this link:

At present, we are striving to collect additional data for Philodendron albovirescens Sodiro ex Croat as well as Philodendron corrugatum Croat in an effort to further update the information on both species. 

Dr. Croat has indicated our specimen is very likely Philodendron albovirescens.

Philodendron albovirescens pubescens and rugose venation, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas,

Philodendron albovirescens pubescens and rugose venation, looks like Philodendron corrugatum, Photo Copyright 2009, Steve Lucas,



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