Scindapsus pictus? Confirm or correct ID?

pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)September 5, 2010

Hi Folks,

I have this handsome plant whose ID I'd like to firm up:

The fellow who shared the cutting provided this name, but it doesn't seem to quite exactly match pix I can find online. Opinions pls?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Oops, I flubbed the first posting:

Isn't it nice? TIA

Here are 2 single leaves:

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 6:02AM
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pirate girl, your ID appears to be correct.

"The Satin pothos (Scindapsus pictus) is one of 25 species in this genus scindapsus. These epiphytic climbing vines produce large attractively patterned leaves. Like other epiphytic vines, they grow adventitious roots from their leaf axils, which take hold to their support allowing them to climb. The Satin pothos is olive green with attractive silver markings. In conservatories, they are often seen reaching their full growth potential, as the leaves will grow large once they start to climb. They are ideal for houseplants and can be grown in hanging baskets. These plants like a well-drained medium with some moisture-retaining amendment added, such as long-fibered sphagnum moss. They do not like to dry out between waterings. Propagation is by means of stem cuttings or air layering." (copied from the internet).
Synonyms are:
Epipremnum pictum
Scindapsus pictus
Scindapsus argyraeum

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 6:28AM
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alaizabelle(9a ?)

What a pretty plant! I'm glad that you know it's ID, so that admirers can track down their own cuttings!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 3:12PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Thanks Rona, but "the Internet" is such a BIG place. Can you say pls. WHERE you're copying from?

I'm still not completley convinced, some of the pix look like green leaves w/ white spots, not silverly splotches like mine.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 4:02PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Your plant reminds me of my plant, which was labeled Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica'. This is supposed to be the rarer form. The one that is green with silvery white spots is the more common form that is often referred to as satin pothos. I have both, and 'Exotica' has leaves that are a fair amount larger. Hopefully yours grows faster than mine, it has been averaging one new leaf a year. This is the first year it grew a second leaf in one year; it was exciting : )

This one's mine:

Yours looks slightly different, but it could just be growing conditions.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 2:51AM
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pirate girl, I was quite expecting your question. A post or two of mine have been rejected because the acknowledged source was considered to be "spamming" or some such related term.
I really cherish the privilege of corresponding on this forum; so please forgive my omission.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:15AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

To back source a passage, simply Copy & Paste into Google.
That's what I just did, and I've linked below...hopefully GW won't strike this post dead ;)

Nice plant, PG!

With a water retentive mix, they probably need to dry.
With a fast-draining mix, they can probably be watered more often.


Here is a link that might be useful: Past Plants of the Week

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 12:53PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Yeah, I received it with that busted up looking leaf. On the other hand, it was a freebie, so I wasn't complaining! I'm patiently waiting until it has enough to leaves to support making more leaves per year than just one or two. Mine also started with only 3 or 4 leaves, and I know I lost one or two along the way before I repotted it and put it where it is now. I keep mine pretty moist, actually, but it is in a looser mix in a slotted orchid pot. It also really doesn't seem to mind if I forget and let it dry out for a couple days. Haven't tested it beyond that though : )

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 1:33PM
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This is the link to the page explaining why plants take on many "faces" as they grow. A juvenile aroid will look little like a pre-adult or any adult form. Even then the blades may take on completely different colors and variations in shape and pattern. There is no such thing as only one form of any aroid although some are very stable. Many others are not.

Just because two leaves don't look alike does not mean they are not the same species. That is a scientific fact that hs been proved many times.


Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Variation

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 1:37PM
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I am sometimes curious as well as amused why any grower insists a particular plant is, or is not in a specific genus. Are any of you aware what defines any specific genus? Have you studied these genera enough to be able to make a positive identification as to the genus? I certainly have not done so and I study aroids daily.

This information is presented solely as a basic tutorial and if it it is boring please just go to another thread.

The genus Scindapsus is found in the larger aroid tribe Monstereae. In total there are the following genera found in this tribe: Alloschemone, Amydrium, Epipremnum, Monstera, Rhaphidophora, Rhodospatha, Scindapsus, and Stenospermation. All are allied but none are the same. Of these 8 genera all are found only in SE Asia or nearby islands in the Pacific with the exception of the genus Monstera. All Monstera species are Neotropical species found only in Mexico, Central America and South America. Some Monstera can also be found in the Caribbean but few are there naturally. There is no species of Monstera found naturally in Asia. Not a single one, that is a myth spread on the internet.

The genus Pothos is related but is not in this tribe. Yet many claim Pothos is closely allied and some commonly use the names interchangeably. The plant most of us call "Pothos" is actually Epipremnum aureum which is not a really Pothos at all. However, there are many species in each of these genera so how can a home growers make an accurate declaration without some major research and training?

So how does anyone know which genus a particular plant is a member? Every genus has a specific set of characteristics that includes or places it in a specific genus. Just because a leaf blade does not look an Epipremnum does not mean it cannot possibly be in the genus. You must compare the characteristics and that is not easily done in a juvenile plant. In fact, I would say it is closer to impossible.

I have several friends that are botanists that study these genera and the only one I would trust to ID any plant in the Asian aroid tribe Monstereae would be Peter Boyce in Malaysia. Pete has spent much of his life studying these species in the wild but even he would rarely dare to declare a plant can or cannot be in any specific genera without having a specimen in hand and he almost always prefers an adult, not a juvenile. Juvenile plants are just too variable and I highly doubt there is a single person on this forum other than Pete that can make an educated decision. Pete rarely posts here any longer but that is a completely different story.

These are the distinguishing characteristics of the genus Scindapsus:

Evergreen, climbing hemiepiphytes; trichosclereids abundant; petiole sheath usually broad and extending almost to apical geniculum; leaf blade always entire and non-perforated, visible finer venation parallel-pinnate; spathe deciduous after flowering; flowers bisexual, perigone absent; ovary 1-locular, ovules amphitropous to anatropous, solitary, basal; seed rounded, subreniform, compressed.

And these are the distinguishing characteristics of the genus Epipremnum:

Climbing epiphytes and lithophytes, with abundant trichosclereids; leaf blade entire to pinnatipartite or pinnatisect, rarely minutely perforate, secondary venation parallel-pinnate, finer venation mostly reticulate; flowers bisexual, perigone absent. Differs from Rhaphidophora in having 2-4 (-6) ovules at the base of a single intrusive placenta, seeds curved, 3-7 mm long, 1.5-4.0 mm wide. Differs from Amydrium in having abundant trichosclereids in all tissues. Differs from Scindapsus in often having pinnatisect leaves and more than one anatropous ovule.

Can anyone of the forum tell the two genera apart by simply looking at a juvenile leaf? I highly doubt that is possible. I understand "botanese" fairly well but I would not stick my neck out far enough to declare any single juvenile plant cannot be an Epipremnum, a Rhaphidophora or Scindapsus by only examining a small plant.

Botany is complicated and it is not always wise to make any specific declaration of genus or species unless you have some basic training.

This is simply a message to be considered when discussing plants. Few of us know enough about botany to make absolute declarations unless of course you are a trained taxonomist. If anyone posting here is a trained taxonomist I will quickly exclude you so feel free to make any declaration you wish.

For the rest of us that may not be wise. Just food for thought.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:41PM
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Everyone: Maybe this is not helpful, but I would like to chime in and say that I don't think anyone here was meaning to be offensive or disrespectful - at least not initially. We're all plant friends here and we should try to get along a little better! :)

pirate_girl: How important is the exact identification to you? If you are wanting to know from a standpoint of how to care for your plant, then the exact ID is not so important, because you have enough information already to care for your plant. If you want to know from a perspective of absolute truth... well then you'll probably need to do DNA testing. :) I would say you already know with pretty good certainty that this plant is Scindapsus pictus or a variant thereof.

Take care-

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 1:07PM
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bigdopeywhiteboy(z7 PacificNW)

I'm a long time plant lover, having grown vast numbers of cacti, euphorbia, pachypodium, and orchids over the years before developing a great fondness for the exotic nature and wildly varied morphology of the Araceae some years ago, so Aroids are my primary focus these days. I'm also a long time denizen of the internet, both in applications relevent to botany and many other topics of interest. I've always found it interesting how many people can be found on Net forums of all sorts seeming to have a level of interest in a subject, but being resistant to the acquisition of accurate information, whether a specific point, or a more comprehensive examination of a subject. It has, for me, always made me think.....'did you ever find yourself know....I wish I didn't know so much about that....or....I bet I could grow these dang things better if I didn't know much about them....or.....hmmmm...that person seems to have a long history with these plants...I should probably completely ignore them..nothing to learn there........or......I may have made an error, but I don't dare admit it or concede to someone with more training or experience in the field......boggles my mind......I just can't imagine a circumstance where you could know TOO much's been said by wiser than I that 'knowledge is power'......and that's a fact....we all become stronger better growers, fans, and forum members by expanding our base of knowledge and our network of knowledgable collegues........

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 4:02PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Pirategirl, it is very easy to become lost in the confusing maize of botanical nomenclature. Attached is a brief ( I promise!) explanation of the plants you know as Pothos.

And DO google the synonyms that Ron was kind enough to list. You'll find that Epipremnum pictum is often listed as a synonym to other Scindapsus genera.

But you can call it 'Clarence', for all I care. It's one of my favorite plants. That foliage is so interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 4:43PM
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Great article Steve....Just as the one you showed me about the zz plant...

Thank you very much...I think I have one of these too..Very interesting as always..


    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:47PM
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