English names: Lacy tree philodendron, selloum
Latin name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Family: Arum - Araceae
Origin: Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay
The philodendron is a woody-stemmed perennial, the aerial roots of which support the plant and bring water as well as mineral nutrients from the soil. The leaves -- large, dark green and deeply lobed -- can grow up to 1.5 metres long, from long, smooth stems. The stem is quite thick and is characterized by “eye-drop” leaf scars. It small flowers cluster on a spadix that is enclosed within a funnel-like spathe. Philodendron tissues contain calcium oxalate, which is irritating or poisonous. The juice may cause skin irritation. Chewing and/or swallowing parts of the plant can cause severe swelling and prevent the respiratory system from functioning properly.