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common name for the Araceae, a plant family mainly composed of species of herbaceous terrestrial and epiphytic plants found in moist to wet habitats of the tropics and subtropics; some are native to temperate zones.
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a genus of lianas of the family Araceae. The plants climb by means of aerial roots and sometimes spread along the ground and forest underbrush. The plants are often epiphytes. A few species have a shortened stem. All parts of the plant contain a milky juice. The lobate or pinnatisect entire leaves are oval or elongate, with a heart-shaped or arrow-shaped base. The unisexual flowers lack a perianth and are in spadices surrounded by a white, yellow, or red spathe. The pistillate flowers are at the base of the spadix; above them are the staminate flowers. Underdeveloped sterile flowers are at the apex of the spadix. The fruit is a berry.
There are more than 250 philodendron species, in the tropics of Central and South America. A number of species, including P. scandens and P. selloum, are grown in conservatories and homes as ornamentals. Sometimes plants of the genus Monstera are erroneously called philodendrons.