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plant ID

Mystery Plant
Mystery Plant  
We were viewing an open house several weeks ago and saw this plant in their front yard.  It looks somewhat similar to many common plants in the area (we live in San Diego) yet not exactly the same as anything I've seen.  The selling agent didn't know what type of plant it is, but I would love to find out more about it and maybe plant some eventually.  Can you tell me what it is from this photo?  We're curious about the upper plants located in the planter, with the multi trunks (Sorry the photo isn't great, we took it with my husband's phone).  They were several feet tall and existed in an area that gets morning and midday sun and afternoon shade.  Thanks for your help!

Greetings Megan,

I've got it!  

It's a Tree Philodendron!  Please scan down this page.


Here ia a really good image of the leaves. Note the cultivar. Not all tree philodendrons have this distinctive tree shape. Some are more rounded.

Here is another great image of a "split leaved philodendron":


Let me know if you can't sign in to that one.

And this:


Sometimes it is called a Philodendron bipinnatifidum, and sometimes a Philodendron sellomun.


Here is an article on their care:


I can't begin to tell you what fun it has been tracking this down, although it took longer than usual, and I like to respond more quickly.  I hope that you do not mind the delay.

Thank you for the entertaining detective work!

Best wishes,


Hello Megan,

I have been working on this intermittently since I received your e-mail. This really is a lovely plant, and it looks oddly familiar. The closest thing I have found is a carica papaya, but that is not it.


I am sitting in the library, having gone though several books. If I cannot find a solution by the end of the day I am going to send your query to the expert pool.

But I am not giving up yet! I just wanted you to know that I am working on it.

Best wishes,


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