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.

25 Common Water and Aquatic Plants Grown in the Philippines

Philippines is an archipelago with hundreds of creeks, stream, lakes, river and water system. Water plants are plenty and the country is rich in biodiversity. However some of the commonly grown water plants are introduced to the country.

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Freshwater Aquarium set-up by: Mr. Achilles Antiquina Lussier

They are classified into Emergent, Submerged, Floating-leaved, Free-floating. Our team made a short list of 25 common water plants grown or found in semi-naturalized state.

We eliminated Ipomea aquatica or Kangkong / Kangkung, since it is used as food. Better  post in another topic.

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water plants grown in cement pond

25 Common Water Plants

25.) Ludwigia sedoides – commonly called Mosaic plant, False Loosestrife. This water plant originates from Brazil, Venezuela. This had become naturalized in many tropical, sub-tropical and even temperate countries.This blooms during June to August which coincide with the rainy season, But this may also bloom during the dry season. Some sell this from Php 50.00 small plant to as much as Php 200 in some online sites.

24.) Myriophyllum aquaticum commonly called parrot’s-feather and parrot feather watermilfoil. Parrot feather gets its name from its feather-like leaves that are arranged around the stem in whorls of four to six. This water plant originally is native of South America and quickly spread via the tropical aquarium trade in North America and elsewhere.

In some countries, Like the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Southern United States.  parrot’s-feather can quickly clogged waterways and ponds. The growth can block sunlight and cause native plants to die because of light deficiency. The organisms that feed on the native plants can die off due to starvation.

This is also commonly sold in Cartimar and in many aquarium pet stores all over the country.

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photo courtesy of pixabay : johnnykarlsson1-5486868

23.) Limnobium laevigatum is a floating plant commonly called West Indian spongeplant, South American spongeplant and Amazon or smooth frogbit. This floating plant is native to Central and South America and quickly spread all over the tropical and sub-tropical areas due to aquarium plant trade.

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Cypreus alterniflolius

photo courtesy of : pixabay: jaclou-dl-5602247

22.) Cyperus alternifolius, common names are umbrella papyrus, umbrella sedge or umbrella palm,Indian matting plant. This was native to Madagascar in Africa but quickly spread in many parts of the world.

This is commonly seen in rice paddies, pond, creeks,irrigation canals throughout the country. The umbrella palm is sought after for its impressive height that can grow to six feet. It creates a soft backdrop for shorter aquatic plants, but it can grow notoriously fast and spread if not put in a container.

21.) Eleocharis acicularis is a species of spikeedge known by the common names needle spikerush and least spikerush. This is common in most aquarium stores in Cartimar and pet stores.

20.) Echinodorus grandiflorus Commonly called spade-leaf sword, creeping burhead, Amazon spade leaf. There were at least 40 known species of this genus and quite common in aquarium trade all over the world.

It is native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina,Venezuela and Florida in the United States of America.

This plant species is quite common is rice paddies, water irrigation ditches, ponds, lagoon and garden center. Immersed plants readily produce flowers and seeds but it can be grown submersed as well.

Small plants are being sold between Php 25.00 to Php 400 depending on the size. Variegated plants are also sold for a little bit higher compared to the ordinary green leaf types.

19.) Lemma minor commonly called duckweed, or lesser duckweed. Lemna minor is the common duckweed works well as a water purifier. It can help control the algae.

Some of the economic importance of Lemma minor is used as animal fodder, bioremediator, for wastewater nutrient recovery, and other applications.  This is common in rice paddy fields, ponds, aquarium trade and lakes. It is also given as a feed to ducks, chicken and goose.

It is found in many areas of the world and have naturalized in Australia and South America. In aquarium trade, it is sold between Php 5.00 for a small cup to as much as Php 50.00

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photo courtesy of pixabay: laila_-6779063

18.) Ceratophyllum submersum and Ceratophyllum demersum commonly known as the soft hornwort ,tropical hornwort, coontail or coon’s tail . This seems to have naturalized in almost all water system in the country.

Its fluffy, filamentous, bright-green leaves provide excellent cover for newly hatched fish. It is propagated by cuttings.

Sometimes they are so common that backyard hobbyist would give them away as freebies. They are sold between Php 10.00 to Php 50.00 depending on size in online sites.

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photo courtesy of pixabay : loilamtan-4659988/

17.) Hydrocotyle vulgaris commonly called pennywort, whorled marsh pennywort, shield pennywort, pennyworth, money plant, lucky plant, copper coin, mangkok, Yahong-yahong is a flowering plant found in Europe, North Africa, North and Western Asia. This may have been introduced during the late Spanish colonial rule or early American regime in the country.

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Hydrocotyle vulgaris blooming in a garden plot within Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Sometimes people would mistake this as gotu kola (Centella asiatica), since the leaves are almost the same.  They are sold between Php 20.00 to Php 50.00 in online sites depending on how big the plant.

16.) Azolla pinnata is a species of aquatic fern known by several common names, including mosquito fern, feathered mosquito fern and water velvet. This is common in rice fields and waterways.

15.) Cabomba carolina – This is originally found as an aquatic perennial herbaceous plant native to North and South America. However human migration and introduction spread this water plant in many parts of the world. To some extent, invasive species in Australia, Europe and many parts of tropical, sub-tropical area, temperate areas.

14.) Bacopa monnieri is creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Common names are water hyssop,waterhyssop, brahmi, thyme-leafed gratiola, herb of grace,and Indian pennywort.

13.) Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia is a native to the Philippines and commonly sold in tropical aquarium trade. Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia is considered easy to cultivate and will grow in moderately hard water if necessary, though it grows naturally in slightly soft water. It prefers moderate to low levels of light.

This water plant is found in Negros, Panay islands in the Visayas and Southwestern part of Luzon. This is also found in the Bicol region. Some of the problems encountered by local aquarium hobbyists is the over harvesting, water pollution of this species.

12.) Rotala rotundifolia is found in many South-East Asian countries has long, thin leaves and 15-30 long stems, 2-3 cm wide including the leaves. Unlike other Rotala species it is relatively undemanding, although it needs good light to produce red leaves.

11.) Salvinia it is a species of floating fern and is related to the other water ferns, including the mosquito fern Azolla. There were about 12 species are recognized with at least 3 are known to be hybrids. This is commonly seen in ponds, rice fields, water ways, pond, irrigation canals and popular in aquarium trade.

10.) Vallisneria genus was named after an Italian (Antonio Vallisner who lived from  May 3, 1661 – Padua to January 18, 1730) He was an Italian medical scientist, physician and naturalist.

2.) Pistia stratiotes commonly called kiapo, kiyapo, quiapo, kuyapo, cuyapo, apon, loloan, water lettuce, water cabbage, tropical duckweed, Nile cabbage or shellflower- Water lettuce is among the world’s most productive freshwater aquatic plants and considered an invasive species in other countries.

In some countries like India ( famine food), Southern parts of China and Africa. Young leaves are usually boiled to remove the acridity from calcium oxalate crystals.

The district of Quiapo in downtown Manila and the town of Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija was name after this plant. There were abundant kiyapo growing the creeks and river tributaries. Some local garden center sells Pistia stratiotes between Php 10.00 to Php 75.00 depending on the size.

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Eichhornia crassipes or Water hyacinth

1.) Eichhornia crassipes, known as water hyacinth or incorrectly called water lily is an aquatic plant native to the Central and South American countries.

Water hyacinth was introduced to the country by the Spaniards in the late 16th century. It is now found in many parts of the world. Sometimes people would incorrectly called this as water lily and a festival is celebrated yearly in Las Piñas City.

Sipag Villar Foundation provides livelihood opportunity to women by helping them make products from water hyacinth. There are many uses of the stems such as wreath, baskets, mats, woven bags, tissue holder and slippers. Their livelihood advocacy had spread in many areas of the country.

However in many parts of the globe, this plant is considered as invasive species.

Bibliography, Sources and References:

Personal Interviews : Mr. Jose Juan Paraiso, Mr. Achilles Antiquina Lussier, Mr. Aira Certeza, Mr. Edwin Aytona, Architect Andrew Patrick Gozon, Ms. Marge Hermoso, Mr. Joselito Flores and Ms. Lily Chin

Yeow Chin Wee,Marshal Cavendish Times Editions; Revised Edition edition (2005),Ferns of the Tropics: ISBN-10: 9812611797, ISBN-13:978-9812611796

The anti-aging effects of Ludwigia octovalvis on Drosophila melanogaster and SAMP8 mice / Wei-Sheng Lin, Jun-Yi Chen, Jo-Chiao Wang, Liang-Yu Chen et al / Age (Dordr), Apr 2014; 36(2): 689-703 / doi:  10.1007/s11357-013-9606-z

Slocum, Perry D., Timber Press, Incorporated; 1st ed. edition (February 1, 2005)Waterlilies and Lotuses: Species, Cultivars, and New Hybrids : ISBN-10:0881926841, ISBN-13:978-0881926842

Randall, Karen A., Sunken Gardens:Timber Press (February 14, 2017) A Step-by Step Guide to Planting Freshwater Aquariums, ISBN-10: 1604695927, ISBN-13: 978-1604695922

Pistia stratiotes” USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, and NOAA Great Lakes Aquatic Non-indigenous Species Information System, Ann Arbor, MI.

“Lemna System for Wastewater Treatment”. National Environmental Technology Applications Corporation. 412: 826–5511.

Lazkov, G.A. & Sultanova, B.A. (2011). Checklist of vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan. Norrlinia 24: 1-166.

Lansdown, R.V. 2014. Hydrocotyle vulgaris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T164201A42415437.

Lambert Derek, Quick Graham, Swindells Philip. CompanionHouse Books; First Trade Paper edition (September 1, 2006): ISBN-10 :1931993815, ISBN-13:978-1931993814

Jain, S. K. (1990).Azolla pinnata R.Br. and Lemna minor L. for removal of lead and zinc from polluted water. Water Research 24:2 177-83.

Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.

Hiscock, Peter: Interpet Ltd (April 30, 2005). Mini Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants, ISBN-10 :1842861042, ISBN-13:978-1842861042

Hassler, Michael & Schmitt, Bernd (January 2020). “Leptochilus pteropus“. Checklist of Ferns and Lycophytes of the World. Version 8.20. Retrieved 2020-02-11.

Hasan, M.R. (2009). “Use of algae and aquatic macrophytes as feed in small-scale aquaculture – a review”. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper.

Gleason, H.A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Garai, S; Mahato, SB; Ohtani, K; Yamasaki, K (2009). “Dammarane triterpenoid saponins from Bacopa monnieri“. Can J Chem. 87 (9): 1230–1234.

Dkhar J, Kumaria S, Rama Rao S, Tandon P (2012) Sequence characteristics and phylogenetic implications of the nrDNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS) in the genus Nymphaea with focus on some Indian representatives. Plant Systematics and Evolution 298: 93–108.

Davidse, G., M. Sousa Sánchez & A.O. Chater. 1994. Alismataceae a Cyperaceae. 6: i–xvi, 1–543. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez & A.O. Chater (eds.) Fl. Mesoamer.. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D. F.

Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija website

Coetzee, J., M. Hill, M. Julien, T. Center, and H. Cordo. 2009. Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms–Laub. (Pontederiaceae). Pages 183–210 in R. Muniappan, G. V. P. Reddy, and A. Raman, eds., Biological Control of Tropical Weeds using Arthropods. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Christenhusz, Fay, and Chase (2017). Plants of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants. University of Chicago Press. p. 188.

C. Kasselmann. 2011. Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vellozo) Verdcourt var. santacatarinense Kasselman, var. nov. (Haloragaceae). Aqua Planta 36 (4): 128-133.

Brunner, Gerhard. 1973. Aquarium Plants. T.F.H. Publ., N.J.

Bogner, J., 1990. Filipino Cryptocoryne. Aquarist & Pondkeeper January 1990 : 38.

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Anderson, Lars, and Pat Akers. “Spongeplant: A New Aquatic Weed Threat in the Delta.” Cal-IPC News 19.1 (2011): 4-5. Print.

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