Epipremnum aureum is a species of flowering plant in the family of Araceae, native in Mo'orea, French Polynesia. The species is a popular houseplant in temperate regions, but has also become naturalised in tropical and sub-tropical forests worldwide, including northern Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Hawaii and the West Indies, where it has caused severe ecological damage in some cases.
(Cultivar: Golden Queen)
(Linden & André) G.S.Bunting, 1964
The plant has a multitude of common names including golden pothos, hunter's robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy and taro vine. It is also called devil's vine or devil's ivy because it is almost impossible to kill. It is sometimes mistakenly labeled as a Philodendron in plant stores. It is commonly known as money plant in many parts of the Indian subcontinent.
E. aureum is an evergreen vine growing to 20 m (66 ft) tall, with stems up to 4 cm (2 in) in diameter, climbing by means of aerial roots which adhere to surfaces. The leaves are alternate, heart-shaped, entire on juvenile plants, but irregularly pinnatifid on mature plants, up to 100 cm (39 in) long and 45 cm (18 in) broad; juvenile leaves are much smaller, typically under 20 cm (8 in) long. The flowers are produced in a spathe up to 23 cm (9 in) long. This plant produces trailing stems when it climbs up trees and these take root when they reach the ground and grow along it. The leaves on these trailing stems grow up to 10 cm (4 in) long and are the ones normally seen on this plant when it is cultivated as a potted plant.
Cultivation and usesEdit
In temperate regions it is a popular houseplant with numerous cultivars selected for leaves with white, yellow, or light green variegation. It is often used in decorative displays in shopping centers, offices, and other public locations largely because it requires little care and is also attractively leafy. It is also efficient at removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. A study found that this effect lessened the higher the molecular weight of the polluting substance. As a houseplant it can reach a height of 20 m (66 ft) or more, given suitable support. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
The plant is sometimes used in aquariums, placed on top of the aquarium and allowed to grow roots in the water. This is beneficial to the plant and the aquarium as it absorbs many nitrates and uses them for growth.
The plant is listed as toxic to cats and dogs by the ASPCA, because of the presence of insoluble raphides. Care should be taken to ensure the plant is not consumed by pets. Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing.
Epipremnum aureum can become a highly invasive species when introduced into tropical countries where it is not native. In Sri Lanka it overgrows several hectares of the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary in Kandy. Having no natural enemies, it completely overgrows the forest floor as well as the trunks of trees, causing severe ecological disruption.
It has also invaded the Kurulukele Forest Reserve in Kegalla, Sri Lanka and other places where it has been planted as a decorative plant, or to hold steep banks along roads. It was included in the Florida Exotic Pest Control Council's 1999 list of invasive species.
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- Wolverton, B. C. How To Grow Fresh Air, Penguin Books, New York, 1997.
- Ayako Sawada, Takashi Oyabu, Purification characteristics of pothos for airborne chemicals in growing conditions and its evaluation, Atmospheric Environment, Volume 42, Issue 3, January 2008, Pages 594-602, ISSN 1352-2310, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.10.028.
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- "Devils Ivy". ASPCA.org. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- "'W. De Costa, H. Hitanayake and I. Dharmawardena, "A Physiological Investigation into the Invasive Behaviour of Some Plant Species in a Mid-Country Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka"" (PDF). JNSFSL, 2001, 29 (1 & 2):35–50. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- "Epipremnum pinnatum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved December 6, 2015.