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Arrowhead Vine Syngonium podophyllum

Previously known as:

  • Arum auritum
  • Pothos auritus
  • Xanthosoma gracile
Phonetic Spelling
sin-GO-nee-um po-do-FIL-um
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The American evergreen is a tropical perennial shrub or vine in the Araceae family climbing to 6 feet. It is desired in interior settings for its low-maintenance, green or variegated, long-petioled leaves and bush-like habit with some cascading stems.  Its blooms are rare in interiors. 

The ideal location will include a warm setting with high humidity.  Avoid locations with full sun, as direct sunlight will tend to burn or bleach the foliage.  Typically a perennial, it can be grown as an annual for your containers or other bright but shady locations.  Young plants will have a shrubby habit, but as the plant ages, it will take on a vine-like habit.  If you wish to retain the arrowhead foliage, cut off the stems as they begin to develop.  That will allow the plant to keep a more shrub-like habit.   Repotting every few years and trimming the root system can keep the plant manageable.

Its flowers are green to greenish white form on a spike and are encompassed by a green-white sheathing bract called a spathe.  Groups of flowers form in the leaf axils.

As the plant matures, its leaves change shape.  Its juvenile form has ovate, heart-shaped leaves up to 5.5 inches long.  They may have a silvery variegation.   The adult form has arrow-shaped leaves.  The leaves will eventually become pedate (having feet) and contain 5 to 11 leaflets.  There are also lobed leaves representing a transition from juvenile to adult stage. 

This plant is typically sold in its juvenile form.   Its uses include use in a hanging basket, as a ground cover, climber, or as a small shrub.

Quick ID

  • Juvenile leaf arrowhead-shaped, adult leaf lobed
  • Leaves have long petioles, are sub peltate
  • Bush-like habit with some climbing or trailing stems

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:   Watch for aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.  Bacterial leaf spots and soft rot can occur.   

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bold Allusion'
    creamy-green leaves with pink veins, slow growing
  • 'Milk Confetti'
    leaves have shades of pink, white, and mint green
  • 'Painted Arrow'
    creamy-green leaves splattered in light green
  • 'Three Kings'
    each leaf is unique and different, has highlights of deep green, light green, and white
'Bold Allusion', 'Milk Confetti', 'Painted Arrow', 'Three Kings'
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#houseplant#interiorscape#spadix#warm climates#fantz#evergreen vine#humidity tolerant#vine#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plant#perennial
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bold Allusion'
    creamy-green leaves with pink veins, slow growing
  • 'Milk Confetti'
    leaves have shades of pink, white, and mint green
  • 'Painted Arrow'
    creamy-green leaves splattered in light green
  • 'Three Kings'
    each leaf is unique and different, has highlights of deep green, light green, and white
'Bold Allusion', 'Milk Confetti', 'Painted Arrow', 'Three Kings'
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#houseplant#interiorscape#spadix#warm climates#fantz#evergreen vine#humidity tolerant#vine#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plant#perennial
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Syngonium
    Species:
    podophyllum
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South America to Mexico
    Distribution:
    Native: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuelan Antilles. Distribution: Bahamas, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Malaya, Puerto Rico, and the United States
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Buffer
    Screening
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Poisonous
    Vine
    Habit/Form:
    Cascading
    Creeping
    Prostrate
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is an egg-shaped cluster of round berries.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spadix
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence is a spathe cluster, axillary, spadix shorter than the spathe. The spathes overlap to form a boat-shaped tube, green to yellow and white, sometimes marked with red or purple.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The juvenile leaves are alternate, simple, sagittate (arrow-shaped), acute to acuminate, and entire. They are dark green above, paler green beneath; intermediate leaves 3-lobed, median segments constricted at base, basal segment triangular. Adult leaves are pedatisect (divided), segments 3-11, confluent to free, median segment obovate to elliptic, acuminate, lowermost segment auriculate, dark green above and paler beneath. Petioles are long, green to reddish-green, subpeltate, and sheathing at the base.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The stems are succulent, green, climbing, with adventitious roots.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting (not horses), difficulty swallowing
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems