Syngonium podophyllum ‘Albolineatum’: Goose Foot
Imagine you come across this species in the wild, say outside the town of Atoyac on Mexico’s Pacific coast. At an altitude of about 1,000 m (3,300 ft) above sea level, its bare stem climbs up a trunk terminating some 3 m (10 ft) above the ground in a large tuft of leaves. In the wild, however, Syngonium podophyllum has an entirely different habit of growth to plants grown in cultivation, for in the first instance the plant has very little light at ground level and the leaves can carry on photosynthesis only when they are above the surrounding vegetation. In this region syngoniums may be seen on practically every tree, generally at elevations of 1,300 to 1,400 m (4,260 to 4,580 ft). It also grows in other Central American states, for example Honduras, Guatemala and San Salvador. The leaves are sagittate only in seedling and juvenile forms; later they are divided by deep incisions into 5 to 11 parts.
Though the type species may be encountered in cultivation, cultivars are generally grown, for example, ‘Green Gold’, with silver and yellow markings on the leaves, and ‘Imperial White’, with silver leaves narrowly edged with green.
Other species are also often grown, in particular Syngonium auritum (syn. Philodendron trifoliatum) from Mexico, Haiti and Jamaica, and S. hastifolium from Brazil.
Syngonium is most effective when trained over a framework such as a room divider, or up a trunk with epiphytes. One way or the other, it should be kept in mind that the plant will need plenty of space for it grows quite rapidly and in time, given congenial conditions, attains quite sizeable dimensions. Cultivation is the same as for rhaphidophora.