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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

Possible Philodendron Parent Plant

A couple weeks ago, I posted about ontogeny, using one of my Philodendron as an example of a plant with different leaf shapes. The plant has turned out to be kind of a mystery, stumping some of my most knowledgable botanical friends.

Philodendron Leaf Evolution

I bought the plant from a SF Botanical Garden sale, and its tag just said “Philodendron from Conservatory.” Yesterday I was visiting the SF Conservatory of Flowers because it’s my favorite place in the city and it happened to be my birthday, and I think I found the mystery Philodendron parent plant.

Conservatory Philodendron

You can see that, if this is the adult form of the leaf, the side lobes to get quite a bit wider over time. So my current guess is that it’s Philodendron tripartitum (or a hybrid with lots of that as a parent). But it’s all guesswork without a flower, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

If you’d like to see the plant for yourself, it’s in the Aquatic Plants room, in a mass of other plants, by the glass wall where you can see into the pool. If you’d like one of your own, you’ll have to drop by a future SFBG plant sale.

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Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.