There are about 33 evergreen, epiphytic or terrestrial, climbing vines from woodland in tropical Central and South America. They produce alternate leaves are initially simple and ovate to triangular, becoming larger, long stalked, arrow shaped, then 3 to 5 lobed or pedate as the plants mature. Tiny, petalless flowers are borne on spadices surrounded by pale green and cream to purplish green spathes, which often become bright red at fruiting time. They rarely flower in cultivation, and are grown for their foliage. Grow as a houseplant. All parts may cause mild stomach upset if ingested, contact with the milky sap may irritate skin.
Indoors, grow in soilless potting mix, in bright indirect light for green leaved species, or in bright filtered light for variegated ones. When in growth, water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 3 or 4 weeks. Water moderately in winter. Support with a moss pole.
Prone to bacterial leaf spot, soft rot, spider mites, mealy bugss, aphids, scale insects, and a variety of fungal diseases.
S. podophyllum ‘White Butterfly’ – Nephthytis triphylla of gardens – Aarrowhead Vine – Goosefoot – This sparsely branched climber found from Mexico to Brazil climbs to 3-6′ feet tall or more. It is compact and trailing when young, and produces heart shaped leaves, when mature, they are arrow shaped, later pedate, each with 5-11 elliptic leaflets, the largest leaflet 6-16″ long, all are dark green above, sometimes with white centers, paler beneath. In summer, green and greenish white to cream or, more rarely, yellow spathes, 4 ½” long, are borne in groups of 4-11 from the leaf axils.