How do you identify philodendron plants?


Quick Answer

Philodendron plants have large, evergreen leaves, the underside of which vary in color from rich green to coppery-red. The leaves are typically heart- or spade-shaped, while the size of the leaves varies even between two plants of the same species. Some philodendrons are vines that climb trees in the wild or plant poles when grown indoors as ornamental plants. Other varieties do not climb and instead have thick, self-supporting trunks.

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Full Answer

Philodendrons do not have a single type of leaf in the same plant, but instead have a mix of juvenile and adult leaves. The shape and size of these leaves vary, but the adult leaves are typically large and imposing. Some species have long and narrow leaves, while others resemble hearts, arrows, spades and violins in shape.

Some philodendrons have subterranean and aerial roots. The aerial roots attach to trees for climbing, and are shorter and more numerous than the thicker subterranean roots, which collect water and nutrients underground. Non-climbing varieties are shrub-sized and do not have aerial roots.

Philodendron berries, which are typically white, green, orange or yellow, taste like bananas. The flowers consist of a leaf-like hood called a spathe and a tube-like structure called a spadix. Philodendrons have up to 11 flower clusters, depending on the species.

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