Anthurium warszewiczii K.Koch
Philodendron serpens Engl.
Philodendron warszewiczii is a climbing shrub with a stout stem that is usually 7 - 10cm in diameter[
]. The plant can be fairly small in difficult habitats, but grows much larger in moist forests. It varies from evergreen in moist climates to distinctly deciduous when growing in dry, exposed sites[
The edible fruit is sometimes gathered from the wild and eaten locally, whilst the plant also has some local medicinal applications.
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant.
People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[
Central America - Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.
Usually found in rather dry or sometimes moist or wet forest, generally growing on rocks but sometimes epiphytic, at elevations up to 1,900 metres[
A plant of the fairly dry to moist tropics, where it is usually found at elevations from near sea level to around 1,900 metres[
Prefers a moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil and a position in partial shade[
]. Plants are generally low feeders, but do benefit from occasional feeds that are rich in magnesium[
Like many species in the family Araceae, this plant has the ability to heat the flowering spadix as the pollen becomes ready for fertilization. This heat greatly increases the strength of the aroma released by the plant, thus attracting more pollinating insects. It can also have the effect of making the insects more active, thus increasing the level of fertilization[
Fruit - raw[
]. The large fruits are very sweet and juicy[
A decoction of the leaves is added to baths in order to treat rheumatic pain and rickets[
Seed - germinates best at 20°c[
Stem tip cuttings.
Leaf bud cuttings.
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