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is a genus of about 36 species of flowering plants in the family Araceae
, native to tropical rain forests in Central and South America. They are woody vines growing to heights of 10–20 m or more in trees. They have leaves that change shape according to the plant's stage of growth, and adult leaf forms are often much more lobed than the juvenile forms usually seen on small house plants.
Syngonium species are often grown as house plants, usually only in the juvenile foliage stages. For successful growth, a winter minimum temperature 16 °C to 18 °C (60 to 65°F) must be maintained, rising to 20 °C to 30 °C (68 to 86°F) during the growing season. They require high humidity, including misting the leaves regularly, and good light, but not direct sunlight; they will tolerate low light levels. Water freely from spring to autumn, sparingly in winter. Feed regularly in spring and summer. If juvenile foliage is preferred, cut off all the climbing stems that develop — the plant will remain bushy, rather than climb, and the leaves will be more arrow-shaped. Repot every second spring. Propagation is by cuttings or air layering.
Syngonium podophyllum is the most commonly cultivated species, being used as a houseplant since the late 19th century. It was originally confused with the similar-looking African genus Nephthytis, and this is still used as a common name for the plant. It was given its own genus in 1879. Other names include:
There are several variegated cultivars, the main differences being in the position and extent of the cream or white markings. Some leaves are almost entirely white, pink or yellow. All parts of the plant are poisonous and cause severe mouth pain if eaten. It is not unusual to find these growing in Sub-tropical Florida landscapes, where homeowners and yard workers need to be aware of the severe skin burning sensations caused by the plants sap containing oxalic acid and the eye damage potential from raphides.
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