Syngonium podophyllum Schott

Etymology Genus Together (Syn), womb (goné); referring to its united ovaries
Species Foot (Podo), leaf (phyllum); referring to the pedate leaves
Family Araceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Arrowhead Vine, Nephthytis
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Climber
Native Distribution Tropical America

Diagnostics:

The leaf is very variable, from an arrowhead shape at the juvenile non-climbing phase, to being markly divided at the adult climbing phase. One will do well remembering these various forms. Once established on a tree, the dense growth and pedate leaves are hard to miss.

The leaves can also be varigated because of various cultivars introduced in the horicultural industry.


Interesting Facts:

The Arrowhead Vine found in Singapore belongs to a variety called Syngonium podophyllum var. podophyllum. Presently, it is more commonly seen growing wild than cultivated because of its successful naturalisation. It can be found climbing on trees in all kinds of habitats, from urban areas, parks, secondary forests, and even in nature reserves. This is a big concern because of its dense and aggressive growth has the potential to exclude the establishment native climbers (Chong et al., 2010).


A tree trunk covered with Syngonium podophyllum.

The adult leaf is deeply divided into many lobes.

Juvenile leaf of a varigated Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly'.

Varigated and lobing leaves.

Flower. The spathe which subtend it has drooped.

Ripe infructescence.


References

Chong KY, PT Ang & HTW Tan. (2010) Identity and spread of an exotic Syngonium species in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 3: 1-5.


Posted Date: 2013-01-27 / Modified Date: 2015-01-11