Stillwater News Press


February 11, 2012

In the Garden 02-12-12

February fills the air with hearts. Be they of red construction paper, 14 karat or chocolate, hearts send the message of love. Florists and greenhouses offer living tokens of love for us to present our sweetheart, but few give notice to heart leaf philodendrons when they consider a living Valentine’s gift.

Latin names for plants are not just for botanical snobs; the Latin is descriptive of the plant. Philodendron cordatum is heart leaf philodendron; philo means to love, dendron is Latin for tree, and cordatum refers a to heart shape. This plant in its native habitat loves trees (evidenced by its tendency to ramble up the trunks) and has heart-shaped leaves.

Botanists at times cannot leave well enough alone and like to shuffle the terminology to keep laymen like us guessing. This same plant is sometimes referred to as P. scandens or P. scandens oxycardium. Scandens translates as climbing, cardium refers to the heart, and oxy — a little Greek to mess the pot — is pointed. Philodendron, climbing with pointed heart leaves. Whew!

If the mere mire surrounding the name has not turned you away, consider purchasing a small pot for your loved one this Valentine’s Day. An everyday plant expressing everyday love in simple terms — that’s the heart leaf philodendron.

Look at the attributes of P. cordatum; it is easy to grow as a houseplant and is happy in almost any situation. Weekly water along with average window light keeps heart leaf not just alive, but actively growing. A monthly dinner date of a balanced fertilizer will keep the color deep green and maximizes the size of individual leaves.

Stems turn brown as they age, a testimony that this plant is mature and has withstood the test of time.

Another distinguishing characteristic is a red-brown sheath at each leaf node offering protection to emerging leaves. I like to think of it as arms sheltering the ongoing growth that every relationship experiences. The sheath, the hug, dries as growth continues onward and upward. New hugs are always necessary, always there.

LeeAnn Barton, Stillwater, can be emailed at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • What’s Blooming 04-20-14

    Last month the water garden went under the knife and now has a brand new look.

    April 19, 2014

  • Grow! 04-20-14

    My favorite part of spring is selecting new plants for the garden and landscape.

    April 19, 2014

  • Seed to Table 04-20-14

    Betanin (ba'tah-nin) and betaine (ba'tah-in) are two terms I encountered while working on a column about beets.

    April 19, 2014

  • In the Garden 04-20-14

    For many years, landscapers limited their use of groundcovers, preferring to plant lawn.

    April 19, 2014

  • Farmers Market 04-17-14

    We are looking forward to another busy spring market this Saturday with several vendors in attendance and plenty of farm fresh produce at the spring and summer location at Strickland Park, across from Hastings near the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street.

    April 16, 2014

  • Grow! 04-13-14

    Fresh air! The great outdoors!

    April 12, 2014

  • In the Garden 04-13-14

    Jasmine-fragrance fanatics stop and breathe deeply at even the mention of the name, reminiscing and recalling the powerful scent these flowers bear.

    April 12, 2014

  • Farmers Market 04-10-14

    The Stillwater Farmers Market has officially made the move to Strickland Park.

    April 9, 2014

  • Grow! 04-06-14

    In the summer months, there’s nothing that tastes better than a sun-ripened tomato right from the vine.

    April 5, 2014

  • Seed to Table 04-06-14

    Hopefully your cool season crops are all in the ground.

    April 5, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Must Read