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Philodendron inaequilaterumLiebm.
Common Name:Abraza palo

Liebm., Vidensk. Meddel. 16. 1850

P. coerulescens Engler

Hemiepiphytic vine, slender, branched many times, the main axisloosely attached; branches widespread, some very long and almostleafless, usually less than 1.5 cm diam, usually green when freshand almost the same color as petioles (drying brown, sharplycontrasting with the green petioles); internodes 5-22 cm (shortnear ends of branches). Petioles 5-24 cm long, canaliculate,narrowly sheathed almost to base of blade, the sheath marginsusually 5 mm high, held erect (those subtending the branches ofinflorescences larger); blades broadly ovate or elliptic-ovate,frequently oblique, abruptly acuminate at apex, rounded or truncateat base (slightly subcordate on largest leaves), usually 15-30 cmlong but to 40 cm long and 20 cm wide on climbing, appressed stems,thin, usually drying dark; major veins 9-13 per side (to 20 onlargest blades), upstanding and more prominent than the minorveins, the minor veins obscure but distinguish­able on freshleaves; juvenile leaves like adults except usually narrower inrelation to length. Inflorescences few; peduncles short and stout,2-4 cm long; spathe usually whitish or green and minutelywhite-lineate, 12-20 cm long, cuspidate, often recurved below apexat anthesis, usually not reclosing tightly after anthesis, theslender staminate part of spadix remaining protruded; spadix withshort stipe, the staminate part narrowly tapered, broadly curvedforward, long-persistent after anthesis, the pistillate part 2.5-6cm long, the fruiting spadix to 9 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Fruitsorange, angulate, to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide; seeds 6-20, usuallyca 14, narrowly oblong, to 1 mm wide, immersed in a clear, sweet,watery matrix at maturity. Croat 5831, 15570.

Abundant in the forest, sometimes climbing to thetop of the canopy; the most abundant Philodendron on BCI.Flowers mostly from April to May, occasionally as early as March oras late as September. The fruits mature mostly during June andJuly.

This species is most easily confused with P. guttiferum,a species of similar habit, but is distinguished by having a narrowsheath ending well below the base of the blade; P.guttiferum has a broad sheath ending nearly at or be­yondthe base of the blade. Blades of P. inaequilaterummay also be confused with those ofRhodospatha    wend­landii, butthey lack the prominently geniculate petioles toward the apex ofthe plant that are so characteristic of R. wendlandii.

Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru, and nodoubt elsewhere in Central America. In Panama, known from tropicalmoist forest in the Canal Zone, Panama, and Darién, frompremontane wet forest in Coclé and Chiriqui, and frompremontane rain forest in Darien.


Philodendron  inaequilaterum
Philodendron inaequilaterum
Enrique Moreno, David Roubik
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