Plant Description

Syngonium podophyllum

Syngonium podophyllum

This plant is a member of the Araceae family of plants, sometimes known as aroids. Many of these plants come from tropical climates and were traditionally used as houseplants. However, in Sydney we can grow many of them outdoors as permanent plantings, or in pots. On the whole, they are best suited to shadier parts of the garden, with sufficient moisture: many can actually grow well in ponds. They can introduce an element of bold contrast with their distinctive leaves and flowers, and mix in well with other warm-climate plants that grow well here, creating the ambience of a tropical rain forest.

There is a huge variety of foliage forms in the family, but many, like the Syngonium, which hails from Central and South America, have striking arrowhead-shaped leaves. The basic form has plain green leaves; the ones I grow have cream-variegated, lime-tinted and silvery-green foliage, respectively. Some of the aroids have aerial roots, which allow the plants to climb up trees, but when they do this they change their nature and become more aggressive and may lose the variegation their foliage,vsporting much larger, plain green leaves. I would discourage plants from doing this. I admired the plant growing on wire frames inside a Melbourne cafe, as shown above. I think they are best used as a groundcover (ht 60cm) in a dry, shaded site.

Keep it in check by trimming back every so often. The flowers are insignificant. Propagation is by division of the tubers. I have a dwarf-leaved cultivar of my larger form, described above, called 'Pixie' as well as a beautiful silvery-white leaved one, which has not so far proved to be rampageous!

 

Syngonium podophyllum
Plant Family: Araceae