Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum

This plant is a vascular epiphyte that can be found in the forests of southern Brazil. It is native to southeastern Brazil and can withstand both drought, high winds, and periods of flooding.

The thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum has stems that grow up to 20 centimeters long with flowers growing at the base that are 3 millimeters long. The leaves are ovate, pinnatisect or bifid, and range in color from light green to light yellow-green. They also can be up to 7 centimeters long.

This species has been used as a traditional cure for erythema, fever, and sores. It is also used to treat gonorrhea and as a tonic.

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Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum has had a limited amount of scientific investigation thus far. Studies have found that when this plant is ingested by humans it has little to no effect on the body, although it does have significant anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically.

Is a Thaumatophyllum the same as a philodendron?

They are botanically different plants. Yes, they are two different species. A thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum is a tropical plant and a philodendron is from the temperate regions of the world. The difference is that thaumatophyllum are epiphytic and philodendron are terrestrial plants.

This plant has been used for treatments in the past for various ailments, but these treatments have not been proven to be effective or have had adverse effects on a person’s health so far.

It is recommended that this plant be handled with care and not consumed in large amounts. 

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum can also cause skin rashes if it has been applied to the skin in the past.

This plant is a member of the Philodendron species family. The leaves and stems contain a chemical that can be used to treat gonorrhea but it is not safe for humans to ingest.

Tips to keep Philodendron bipinnatifidum problem-free

  1. The Philodendron bipinnatifidum should be kept in partial shade, with the soil being kept moist and fertilized regularly with a diluted fertilizer.
  2. Because it is an epiphyte, it needs to be supported so it won’t fall over and break off if the humidity is low in your home. This can be done by placing a stake or wire cage around the plant and attaching it to the branches of the plant (once they are established).
  3. Because of its slender habit, a Philodendron bipinnatifidum needs to be kept in medium-sized pots that are not too big or small.
  4. The Philodendron bipinnatifidum needs to be kept indoors and away from direct sunlight, as well as strong winds or high temperatures.
  5. This species also prefers to grow in bright or moderate indirect light.
  6. The plant requires high humidity, so it should be placed in a partly shaded area with air circulation and room temperature (70-75 degrees Fahrenheit).


Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum is well known for its medicinal values in a traditional medicine of Brazil and Uruguay. This plant has the ability to cure fever, pain, rashes, sores and have been used as Traditional cures for erythema.

How does Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum work?

It works as a diuretic, an astringent and antioxidant. This plant contains sarmentogenins, fumaric acid and ascorbic acid. Sarmentogenins are also known as antimicrobial agents which have the ability to kill certain germs in the body. It also has shown anti-inflammatory properties when used topically.

What are the toxic effects of Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum?

It contains sarmentogenins, a chemical that is shown to possess high cytotoxicity in human cancer cells.

How to Care For Your Philodendron Bipinnatifidum

Care should be taken when water is poured onto this plant. It can cause damage to the leaves of this plant by sending water into the stem, so it is recommended to only water it with a sprayer and if too much water splashes, then the plant can possibly break and cause a centimeter-sized cut on your hand. 

Watering this plant should be done in partial shade so that it does not dry out too quickly. Because of its slender habit, the Philodendron bipinnatifidum should be grown in a medium-sized pot that is not too big or small. This plant should be kept indoors away from direct sunlight, as well as strong winds or high temperatures.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature: Suitable for all areas of the country as far north as Massachusetts and Ontario as well as southern United States, The Philodendron bipinnatifidum can survive Temperatures from 62 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity: Should be kept between 70 and 80% where the plant is grown.

Lighting Needs

Philodendron bipinnatifidum does not require direct sunlight or high temperatures, so this plant is suitable for most areas in the United States.


Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum should be fertilized weekly with a diluted fertilizer or liquid fertilizer, or about every two to three weeks. The potting soil should be moist but it is not recommended to keep it too wet, because this plant likes to dry out between waterings. A solution of one tablespoon of fertilizer in one gallon of water should be used for regular fertilizer applications.


This species is propagated from seeds, which contain a seed embryo (a bulge) on the surface. The top of the bulge should be scraped off with a spoon to make a flat head and then planted into damp soil. It requires cold stratification for germination or it can be potted and grown in water so that the plant is able to absorb moisture through its roots.

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How do you propagate Thaumatophyllum?

When cultivation of a Philodendron bipinnatifidum is desired, it is best to divide a plant in late summer or early fall when the plant is dormant. The plant can be divided into smaller plants, just as the rootball will have dried out. It should be cut back to about 1/4th its normal size (then trimmed by about an inch), and then repotted into fresh potting soil and exposed to room temperature for about one week.

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