Pinnatidendron altissimum
4 leaf stage

Pinnatidendron altissimum - 4 leaf stage

Pinnatidendron 4 leaf stage

Pinnatidendron altissimum is ubiquitous on Aroidia and is a primary contributor to the biological archipelagos. Shown above is a specimen at the 4 leaf stage, which is the first stage in a seasonal growth cycle. The second, or 8 leaf stage, is the late-season mature stage of the plant.

These titanic plants are always found in association with Dendroarum shrubs, with which they engage in mutualistic symbiosis. Pinnatidendron never blooms because the Dendroarum assumes the entire reproductive function for both of them. In turn the Pinnatidendron provides the great majority of photosynthetic products to sustain the feverish reproductive activities of Dendroarum.

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.

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