Philodendron rhodospermum Calazans & Sakur.

Calazans, Luana S. B. & Sakuragui, Cassia M., 2013, A new species of Philodendron (Araceae) and a key to Brazilian Atlantic Forest species of P. subgenus Pteromischum, Phytotaxa 94 (2), pp. 49-55: 50-53

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.94.2.3


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Philodendron rhodospermum Calazans & Sakur.

sp. nov.

Philodendron rhodospermum Calazans & Sakur.   , sp. nov. ( Figures 1 View FIGURE 1 , 2 View FIGURE 2 )

Philodendron rhodospermum   is most similar to Philodendron propinquum Schott (1856: 78)   , but the former has broader ovate leaves, sometimes slightly asymmetric, fewer primary lateral veins (3–5 pairs), lamina notable thinner with secondary lateral veins prominent in dry material, and reddish seeds.

Type: — BRAZIL. Espírito Santo: Santa Teresa, Reserva Biológica Augusto Ruschi, road to Goiapaba-açu , 19° 54’ 26.7” S, 40° 32’ 53.7” W, 24 November 2012, L. S. B GoogleMaps   . Calazans & R. T   . Valadares 213 (holotype: RB!; isotypes: CEPEC!, K!)   .

Herb perennial, hemiepiphytic near the ground. Stem branched; internodes 1.5–5.5(–7.5) cm long, cylindrical, dark green to brownish, matte, drying paler brown, epidermis vertically cracked; flagellar shoots present. Petiole 11.6–16.7 × 1.0– 1.5 cm, sheath 11.0–15.6 × 1.0– 1.5 cm, horizontally splayed, glossy green, apical ligule 0.6–1.1 cm long, acute to narrowly rounded, slightly unequal, unsheathed portion of petiole 0.3–1.5 cm long, adaxially flattened, abaxially rounded; leaf blade 13.0–22.0 × (5.0–) 7.5–13.5 cm, often pendulous from the petiole apex, elliptic to broadly ovate, sometimes slightly asymmetric, apex acuminate to cuspidate, margin entire, base rounded to subcordate, smooth, glossy green on both faces, drying membranaceous to subchartaceous, striated, olive-green to brownish; midrib and primary lateral veins adaxially sunken, abaxially raised, primary lateral veins 3–5 pairs, arising at (30–)45–60º angle from midrib, arcuate to margin, drying prominent and greenish-yellow abaxially, secondary veins discrete, parallel to primary veins, numerous, drying prominent on both surfaces. Inflorescence solitary; peduncle 2.0– 4.5 cm long, cylindrical, striated; spathe 6.0–9.0 cm long, ovate, acuminate (the acumen ca. 1.0 cm long), constriction not evident, externally pale yellow, becoming green in fruit, internally cream, resin canals internally visible; stipe of spadix up to 1.5 cm long; spadix 5.1–6.2(–7.2) cm long, slender; fertile male zone 2.8–3.4 cm long, not obviously exerted in fruit; intermediate sterile zone 0.4–0.55 cm long; female zone 1.7–2.0 cm long; stamens ca. 1.0 mm long, in groups of 4–6, prismatic; intermediate staminodes ca. 1.5 mm long, clavate; gynoecium 1.0–2.0 mm long, ovary flask-shaped, slightly broader than style, 2–3(–4)-locular, multi-ovulated, placentation axile. Juvenile berries pale green. Seeds ca. 1 mm long, fusiform, slightly curved, longitudinally striated, reddish-pink, drying purplish-red to brownish.

Phenology: —Collected in flower from September to November and in fruit from September to January.

Etymology: —The specific epithet alludes to the remarkable reddish-pink coloration of the seeds ( Figure 2b–c View FIGURE 2 ), a very useful character for field identification.

Distribution and habitat: —Known only from two localities in the Espírito Santo State, Atlantic Forest; 600–850 m elevation. Almost all collections are from REBIO Augusto Ruschi, municipality of Santa Teresa, where the species is common and can be easily found on the edge of the trails. Until now, only one collection outside this area is known, at Pedra de Santa Luzia, municipality of Governador Lindenberg, ca. 70 km distant from Santa Teresa. Both localities are situated in an extension of the Serra da Mantiqueira, suggesting a possible broader area of occurrence along this mountain region.

Conservation: —Collections made so far are located in remnants of Atlantic Forest ( Figure 3 View FIGURE 3 ). The fragment at Santa Teresa, in the southern part of Espírito Santo State, is extensive and includes a Federal Conservation Unit (REBIO Augusto Ruschi), which ensures some protection for the species. Moreover, there are contiguous protected fragments in the region, such as the Parque Natural Municipal de São Lourenço.

The fragment located at Governador Lindenberg is extremely small and is located outside the conservation area, however it is in an area of high priority for conservation, according to Brazilian federal law ( Brasil 2007) ( Figure 3 View FIGURE 3 ). Furthermore, according to the laws of Espírito Santo State ( Brasil 2011), this fragment is also inserted in a priority area for conservation of Atlantic Forest named Marilândia, which is important for harbouring threatened and endemic species as well as possible taxa new to science. It also consists of a large area of unprotected fragments that contribute to the connectivity of other priority areas for conservation. Official guidelines for the area include biological inventories of fauna and flora, diagnosis of forest fragments and the creation of new protected areas. The presence of this new Philodendron in   the area highlights the importance and urgency of these conservation actions in the state.

Due to the lack of ecological data and records we are unable to suggest a conservation status for the species at this moment, which should remain as data deficient for conservation purposes.

Paratypes:— BRAZIL. Espírito Santo: Santa Teresa, Reserva Biológica Augusto Ruschi , 24 September 2002, R. R   . Vervloet et al. 1036 ( MBML!); loc. cit., 03 October 2002, R. R   . Vervloet et al. 1150 ( MBML!); loc. cit., 29 October 2002, R. R   . Vervloet et al. 1309 ( MBML!); loc. cit., 09 January 2003, R. R   . Vervloet et al. 1672 ( MBML!)   .

Additional examined material:— BRAZIL. Espírito Santo: Governador Lindenberg, Pedra de Santa Luzia , 19° 17’ 17” S, 40° 27’ 56” W, 07 November 2007, V GoogleMaps   . Demuner et al. 4483 ( MBML!); Santa Teresa, Reserva Biológica Augusto Ruschi , 19 September 2001, L   . Kollmann et al. 4684 ( MBML!)   .

Affinities: —According to Grayum’s concepts (1996) of sections in subgenus Pteromischum   , Philodendron rhodospermum   belongs to section Fruticosa Grayum (1996: 117), displaying proleptic growth, stem branched and shrubby, lack of nodal anchor roots, extensive sheath and solitary inflorescences lacking cataphylls. It is similar to P. propinquum Schott (1856: 78)   , differing by its broader ovate leaves, often pendulous leaf blade (i.e. the acute angle between petiole and lamina), fewer primary lateral veins and reddish seeds (vs. oblong or ovate-oblong leaves, often erect leaf blade, 5–7 primary lateral veins and pale brown seeds). In dry material of P. rhodospermum   the leaves are notable thinner and the numerous secondary lateral veins become prominent, providing a striated appearance to the lamina, which is also useful in separating these species.

The new species resembles P. romeroi Grayum (1996: 70)   , an endemic species of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. This latter can be distinguished by its appressed climbing habit, larger leaves, stout inflorescences and granular abaxial surface on dry leaves, being a member of section Pteromischum   ( Schott 1856: 77) Engler (1878: 133). Although the previously listed characters indicate the inclusion of P. rhodospermum   in section Fruticosa, its similarity with a member of another section emphasizes the complexity involving classification below subgenus level in Pteromischum   , as in the whole genus.


Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden University branch


Department of Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History


Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zentraleinrichtung der Freien Universitaet


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro




Royal Botanic Gardens


Museu de Biologia Mello Leitão


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium














Philodendron rhodospermum Calazans & Sakur.

Calazans, Luana S. B. & Sakuragui, Cassia M. 2013

Philodendron rhodospermum

Calazans & Sakuragui 2013

Philodendron propinquum

Schott 1856: 78