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A philodendron by any other name?

Since the rise in popularity of indoor plants, the indoor plant community has always assumed these two siblings were part of the well-populated Philodendron family, until now…

What was previously labeled a Philodendron has now been officially crowned Thaumatophyllum. Try saying that one three times in a row! Scientists researching the genetic makeup of these show-stealers are the ones responsible for the mix up in family dynamics.

But never fear! You don’t need a degree in genetics to know the basics. We’ve got you covered.

Why is it different?

At a glance, these plants are not that different from some of their larger Philodendron relatives. The actual difference lies in the genetic makeup of the pair. Scientists studied the DNA of the ex-Philodendron and found its genetic makeup actually resembled that of its hipster cousin: Thaumatophyllum. Thus, a tongue twister was born!

Does it make a difference?

Ultimately, when it comes to things like care and styling, not really. But it does make a good opportunity to add a notch to your list of the different plants you own. And who could possibly say no to adding diversity to your family of plants?

Care Tips

In terms of plant care for these guys, they’re just as low maintenance as ever. Both Thaumatophyllum Xanadu and Selloum both love bright indirect light and enjoy a good drink about once a week. If you’ve managed to keep the much-loved Monstera deliciosa alive then these plants will be a breeze for you.

The only difference now is that when house guests comment on your “Philodendron” you can bask in the superiority of sharing an interesting fact with them, “Well actually…”

Don’t Forget!

Your Thaumatophyllum’s will love you for some added humidity, as they hail from more tropical lands than your living room. And grower beware, if you place these tricksters outside they have a high chance of growing like wildfire! And if you get stuck when trying to seek out any more info on these plants online, try searching the old alias of Philodendron, some good care tips might be outdated! We won’t tell if you won’t.

So there you have it, a brand new plant hiding in plain sight. It begs the question? What other possible plant babies are masquerading as something else? Possibly living in our very own homes? If you ask me, my bet’s on the Monstera family!


Thomas Cumming

My name is Tom, but you can call me The Boy Botanical! I'm 24 years old and I live in South Australia. I'm a university student with a penchant for indoor plants and everything else that comes with the territory. I'm slowly adding to my indoor jungle with each passing day and have no plans to slow down!

One Comment

  • Kamilla

    Hi Thomas,
    So sorry about your troubles with the fires,we are all trying to raise money to help you out.All of Canada is conscious,..
    My question is how do I separate a ,cut down a philendremon,its 30 years old..
    Thanks ,Kamilla

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