Though there are about 200 Philodendron species, there are only two basic groups: vining types and what is referred to as self-heading or arborescent (able to support themselves). Both groups are propagated by stem cuttings, but some non-vining types can also be propagated by offsets.
Plant identification can be challenging, especially if there are several similarities, like with the Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) and the heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium) or the Pileas Peperomiodes and the 2022 Houseplant of the Year, the Peperomia polybotrya.
The Philodendron Birkin is a hybrid of the Rojo Congo and Imperial Green cultivars, hybrids of Philodendron erubescens. One of its most distinguishing features is the dark-colored leaves with bright yellow pattern lines. It may revert to its Rojo Congo parentage, a dark red plant.
Due to variations in leaf shape and size between the juvenile and adult growth stages, as well as the enormous quantity of hybrids that have been created for commercial purposes, it isn’t easy to distinguish between the different species of Philodendron.
Philodendron verrucosum has pubescent (velvety) medium green leaves with lime green veining and maroon reverse coloring. As an epiphyte, verrucosums prosper if vined as early as possible. As light conditions improve, leaf size and colors improve, as does vein variegation.
The species name, Philodendron, translates to tree-loving (Philo – friend; dendron – tree), but the Philodendron gloriosum is not a vining plant. In 2019 the IUCN classified P. gloriosum as vulnerable in its natural habitats in Colombia and the Hawaiian Islands.
Rhaphidophora is one of the largest aroid genera in tropical Asia. In contrast, the R. tetrasperma species is the rarest naturally growing aroid, restricted to only a few sites on the Malaysian Peninsula and Southern Thailand. However, as an indoor plant, it is easy to grow.
The philodendron genus got its name from the combined Greek words phileo (to love) and dendron (tree) for the genus’ tree-climbing affinity. However, the Philodendron is not a vine, but it has been reclassified to the thaumatophyllym genus.