15 Fun Facts about Pothos

Pothos or Epipermum aureum and related species is now in demand. This a member of the of Aracea family that includes Caladiums, Colocasia, Xanthosoma which originates from Central and South America.

This highly ornamental plant is making a comeback, with dozens of new hybrids and variegated ones in the market.

Epipermum aureum or golden pothos at a plant stall within Goodwill Homes 1, Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City

Prices used to be in between Php 25 to Php 75 for small hanging basket in Tabang-Guiguinto plant stalls in Bulacan. Almost the same price in Silang, Cavite few years ago, until the demand for indoor plant skyrocketed last year.

Some plant center in the province would give cuttings as freebies whenever one will bring large purchases. Plant enthusiasts sometimes called plantiquarians, plantitos, plantitas,halamanmoms, plantaddicts whatever would you prefer calling them, would swear that having pothos is on their bucket list of plants.

15 Fun Facts about Pothos

Pothos grown in large cement vat within Goodwill Homes 1, Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City

15.) It is called “money plant ” by people living in the Indian subcontinent, Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and some Southeast Asian countries. People believe that having one potted pothos can brings good luck, money or attracts positive chi inside one’s premises. This is also good in offices, condominiums and apartments which have minimal spaces.

14.) One can grow pothos indoors, preferably with bright indirect light, although it also will tolerate low-light conditions. Pale leaves means too much sun, and loss of variegation means too little.

13.) Pothos likes to have its soil dry out between watering. For potted plants dislikes soggy condition.

Epipermum aureum or golden pothos cling on branches on an acacia tree

12.) One can fertilize pothos on weekly basis with water soluble fertilizer brand that is available in the market preferably 1/4 to 1/2 the strength diluted. This is done after watering the plant. One can also apply Naturamin which is distributed by Harbest Agricultural Business Corporation based in Pasig. Another way to apply small amount of slow release fertilizer that is commercially available.

11.) This had various common names like golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, taro vine, Ceylon creeper, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, marble queen, water vine among others.

10.) It is also referred to as devil’s vine because it is quite impossible to kill the vine. This plant can tolerate low light levels. Some areas like in Florida, Hawaii, Southeast Asia,Tropical America, India, Sri Lanka the Epipermum aureum completely overgrows the forest floor as well as the trunks of trees and block the natural vegetation.

9.) Epipermum aureum, the golden form of the species use to be native over Mo’orea in the territory of French Polynesia. Epipermun pinnatum is native to many parts of the country and south This is under the family of Araceae.

8.) This is now one of the most common house plant and was introduced in many parts of the world due to human activity. The plant became naturalized in many tropical,sub-tropical area all over the world. Among the big farms includes Costa Farm in the United States of America.

Pothos growing on a large tree within Philvirra Homes, Barangay Tandang Sora, along Road 20 Project 8, Quezon City

Locally, one can buy varieties of pothos in several online sites and established farms like Unigreen Farm in Batangas, Bulacan Garden, Tabang-Guiguinto plant stalls, Araneta Farmers Garden, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Cedarhills Garden Center in Mother Ignacia Avenue,White Plains, Cartimar Plant Center, Neopolitan in Fairview, Pasig among others.

7.) NASA and other scientist made studies in the 1980’s on the effects of pothos indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, benzene, carbon monoxide and dust.

6.) Other genus like Scindapsus pictus commonly called satin pothos/ silver pothos or silver vine are also lump as pothos. This vine is widespread in many southeast asian countries. Some small leaf philodendron are also mistakenly sold as different cultivar variety of pothos.

5.) The vine can be propagated via nodal cutting planted in aquariums, placed on top of the aquarium and allowed to grow roots in the water. The plant roots can filter some nitrate.

For those living in Calumpit, Bulacan One can contact Mrs. Vivian Sumilang (0920-915-8975) or ( 0922-819-6414). She also have other ornamental plants for sale.

4.) It is popular in the Philippines with many schools, make shift altar, cemeteries, family shrines have pothos planted in clear bottles as water plant. According to some old time local horticulturists and backyard hobbyists. They have encountered this vine way back in the early 1950’s and was extensively featured in several magazines.

3.) The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) listed this plant as mildly toxic when ingested to pet dogs, cats and small mammals. Avoid letting your pet animals chew the leaves or any parts of the plant.

2.) Avoid constant touching the leaves and stems of Epipermum pinnatum and Epipermum aureum since parts of the stems and leaves contains calcium oxlate crystal which may cause general skin irritation.

1.) Leaves are used in general flower arrangement, ikenobo arrangement and adds color.

Sources, References, Bibliography, Interview:

Personal interviews – with Ms. Charita Gunao, Mrs. Leticia Cabiao, Mr. Lebon Ong, Mrs. Marilyn Montemayor, Professor Purita Marquez, Mr. Allan Marquez , Mrs. Vivian Sumilang

Royal Horticultural Society

Wolverton, B. C. How To Grow Fresh Air, Penguin Books, New York, 1997.

Wolverton, BC (1996) How to Grow Fresh Air . New York: Penguin Books.

Sawada, Ayako; Oyabu, Takashi (2008). “Purification characteristics of pothos for airborne chemicals in growing conditions and its evaluation”. Atmospheric Environment. 42 (3): 594–602.

Nauheimer, L., Metzler, D. and Renner, S.S. 2012. Global history of the ancient monocot family Araceae inferred with models accounting for past continental positions and previous ranges based on fossils. New Phytologist, vol. 195, p. 938-950.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Araceae Epipermum aureum pages 89 to 90, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gabi Family page 142, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

8 Fun Facts about Epipermum pinnatum

Epipermum pinnatum is a common plant found in many areas of Asia like Southern China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indo-China region, Indonesia,Tropical India, Melanesia region, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

In other parts of the world like Hawaii, West Indies, tropical Americas and Southern parts of the United States of America. This plant had become invasive in much of the areas where it was introduced. Epipermum pinnatum engulf vegetation killing out native weeds, plants, moss,lichen and shading-out native trees killing them slowly.

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Epipermum pinnatum is called Malapakpak-balaua, lukmoi, lukmoy, tibatib or tampinbanal in Tagalog speaking region.

Common names includes dragon-tail plant, centipede tongavine ( English), tibatib, lukmoi,lukmoy tampinbanal ( Tagalog),Malapakpak-balauai ( Tagalog) bisako ( Bisaya). It is a member of the Araceae family, same family as Caladiums.

IMAGEEpipermun pinnatum -young leaves

Lukmoi/ lukmoy/ tibatib/ tampinbanal /bakag spend part of its life cycle in the canopy or ground as seeds are disperse by birds and insects. Using suitable host trees, palms, wall, fences to cling on. It is considered as a hemiepiphyte.

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Epipermum pinnatum cling on a dead palm

Eventually clinging to host trees by sending roots downwards. Humans and sometimes some mammals also help spread the plant by cuttings, plant fragments, and/or discarded plant parts. Sometimes called Rhaphidophora pinnata L. Schott ( synomym) according to the website the plantlist.org by Kew Garden.

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8 Fun Facts about Epipermum pinnatum

8.) Teeth -Blackening: The vine is used by in some Asian countries like in Java, Bali in Indonesia, aboriginal tribes of Taiwan and lumads in Mindanao island where it is considered a standard for beauty.

7.) Food -Some Aeta tribes in Central Luzon and Northern Luzon in the Philippines would eat the young leaves and use the inner stem for handicraft.

6.) Traditional Medicine – In some parts of China , it is used for traditional medicine for dysentery, rheumatism and fractures.

5.) Indoor Plant– It is used as indoor plant in United States and other countries.

4.) Basket and Handicraft – The central stems of the root is used for several handicraft like basketry, lamp shades, mat, rope, accessories throughout its native range.

3.) Allergy -Some people are allergic to the sap. Sap is also sometimes use as a cure for snake bites.

2.) Leaves are used for flower arrangements and decor. Large leaves are sometimes sold in Dangwa market in Sampaloc, Manila. some local florist would substitute them for Philodendron.

1.) Some unscrupulous sellers would easily pass this as Epipermum pinnatum ” Cebu Blue”, BLUE Pothos, Monstera deliciosa or Philodendron bipinnatifidum both of which are native in tropical Mexico to South America.

Sources, Bibliography and References:

Peppard, Terry (1992). “Volatile flavor constituents of Monstera deliciosa“. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 40 (2): 257–262.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. ARACEAE Page90, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Moodie, G. E. E. (1976). “Heat production and pollination in Araceae”. Canadian Journal of Botany. 54 (5–6): 545–6. doi:10.1139/b76-053.

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Epipermum pinnatum page 142, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Brown, D. (1988). Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1988

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