Arum auritum Vell.
Pothos auritus Willd.
Syngonium affine Schott
Syngonium amazonicum Engl.
Syngonium decipiens Schott
Syngonium gracile (Miq.) Schott
Syngonium peliocladum Schott
Syngonium poeppigii Schott
Syngonium riedelianum Schott
Syngonium ruizii Schott
Syngonium ternatum Gleason
Syngonium vellozoanum Schott
Syngonium willdenowii Schott
Syngonium xanthophilum Schott
Xanthosoma gracile Miq.
Syngonium podophyllum is an evergreen climbing plant producing stems 10 - 20 metres long that support themselve on tree trunks by means of adventitious roots[
]. The leaves vary greatly as the plant ages. When young they have the shape of an arrowhead, but as they mature this changes and lobes develop at the base of the leaves. The older the plant is, the more lobes the full-sized leaves will have.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental and ground cover plant in tropical gardens, being valued for its attractive flowers and foliage, and also as a houseplant in cooler areas, where it seldom flowers[
]. Forms with variegated foliage have been developed as ornamentals.
The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals and can cause severe pain in the mouth if eaten[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean - Trinidad.
Dense primary forest and more open areas of secondary growth[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Grows best in partial shade, succeeding also in deep shade[
]. Prefers a fairly fertile, moist but well-drained soil[
]. Succeeds in most soil types and textures from clays to sandy loams and from acid to slightly alkaline[
The plant is commonly grown as an ornamental in the tropics and has sometimes escaped from cultivation and become naturalized. Every part of the stem, even short sections, can produce roots and grow into a new plant making it very difficult to eradicate. There are at least two reports (from the islands of Hawaii and Niue) of the plant becoming invasive and it is a controlled species in parts of mainland USA[
A decoction of the crushed and boiled leaf is used as a wash to treat stomachache[
The milky-white sap from a broken stem is applied topically as a remedy for the bite of Paraponera ants[
]. The sap is swabbed into the cavity of an aching tooth in order to relieve the pain[
The roots and bark are antibacterial and antiinflammatory. They are used in the treatment of superficial and deep wound, and various skin disorders[
Extracts of the leaves and bark have been shown to have a dose-dependent effect upon treating oedema, showing they they are potential sources of principles with high anti-inflammatory activity[
A climbing plant, if left to scramble over the ground it can form a green mat of foliage around 15cm high, creating an excellent ground cover. It can become weedy, much the same as English ivy (Hedera spp) does, and will require regular trimming along the edges of the bed. It can also grow up into shrubs and trees so, unless you want this to happen, it is best located in front of a shrub area, or out by itself in the landscape[
This is one of the species studied in a trial and found effective in helping to remove indoor air pollutants[
Stem cuttings root very easily - they form roots wherever they touch the ground and can also just be placed in a jar of water[
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