Pinnatidendron altissimum - 8 leaf stage
This 8 leaf stage Pinnatidendron plant is in a late-season condition, with this specimen towering over 300 feet tall. An example of the 4 leaf stage may be viewed by clicking here.
These titanic plants start as small seedlings, producing individual compound leaves one after another. These leaves emerge progressively larger and longer until the overall height of the plant reaches about 50 feet. At that point, Pinnatidendron enters a short dormant period, shedding all leaves. On breaking dormancy, four leaves emerge simultaneously to form the typical adult Pinnatidendron morphotype.
The heavy fibrous roots of Pinnatidendron altissimum provide the fundamental infrastructure for the biological archipelagos on Aroidia. The picture above shows the thick density of heavy roots that this plant produces. Note the human figure and rowboat added for scale.
Several varieties or subspecies of P. altissimum are known; the one illustrated is P. altissimum 'stricta' by virtue of the relatively stiff leaflets. P. altissimum 'laxa' with more relaxed or slightly droopy leaflets, is the type seen on the landscape picture of Aroidia.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or the "ZZ plant", a genuine aroid plant, was the inspiration for the Pinnatidendron.