Common name: Philodendron
Botanical name: Philodendron species (most common species include Philodendron selloum, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, Philodendron ‘Anderson’s Red’, Philodendron ‘Xanadu’, Philodendron sanguineum, Philodendron domesticum)
Other common names: Heart-leaf philodendron, sweetheart vine
General description: An ornamental, often grown as a pot plant, these plants may or may not have a climbing habit. If grown outside, they are often vines or climbers with thickened stems and numerous aerial roots.
Flowers: Flowers are similar to other aroids in that they are small and numerous, crowded onto a central spike which is surrounded by a greenish coloured spathe.
Leaves: Leaves are shiny, sometimes variegated and often lobed or segmented.
Fruit/Berries: The fruit are berries, white to orange or red, clustered along the spike, similar in structure to other related species in this family.
Symptoms: All parts of the plant contain needle-like calcium oxalate crystals, which if chewed or eaten, can cause immediate pain or a burning sensation and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue and throat. Swelling may cause copious salivation, difficulty in breathing, swallowing or speaking. Severe swelling or gastric irritation may become life-threatening.
The sap may cause contact dermatitis and eye irritation.
Toxicity category: 2, 3
Warning: Seek urgent medical attention if lips or tongue become swollen or if there is difficulty breathing or swallowing.