climbing vine Chiapas - id please

victoria, Canada

Some kind of aroid, I presume. Two varieties identified by Lacandon Mayas, living in the rain forest of Chiapas: chiah k'aax 'forest chiah' and another one the people cultivate, bushy and the leaves are variegated, called chiah. Sending both. Apparently they get small, fragrant white "flowers" that smell like vanilla. They sprinkle the pollen into drinks. The flowers have "skin" (spathe?). No pics of inflorescences, sorry: these photos taken in October.

Thumbnail by suzanne_cook
victoria, Canada

chiah k'aax 'forest chiah'. Two pics: wide shot and close up of leaves.

Thumbnail by suzanne_cook
victoria, Canada

chiah k'aax 'forest chiah'. Wide shot

Thumbnail by suzanne_cook

The first photo is a Dieffenbachia.

I am editing my post to add: there are two different plants in the last photo. One I still believe may be Syngonium chiapense and the other and I'm not sure of.

This message was edited Oct 25, 2011 9:08 PM

victoria, Canada

Thanks Rachel,
Yes, you're right--there are two plants in the second photo. I should have indicated in my post that it the focus was on the species with the long, simple leaves. Could it be a Rhodospatha?

Have you heard of people eating the pollen of Dieffenbachia?

I figured your focus was on the one you showed in the second photo and in all reality there is more than two plants showing in the second photo that I did not catch. I am not familiar enough with the genus Rhodospatha to give you a definite yes or no answer to your question and no, I've never heard that the pollen from a Dieffenbachia was edible/safe. Have you?

victoria, Canada

No, I haven't tried the Dieffenbachia. They say it's poisonous. The Laandon man said the flowers smelled sweet, like vanilla. He is the one who sprinkles the pollen in his bevs. The plant wasn't blooming when I took the shot, so I wouldn't know.
As for the photo with the two plants climbing on the tree, Michael Grayum from MOBOT identified the (focus) plant as Philodendron inaequilaterum Liebm.

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