Outdoors in the Tropical South, these vines trail over the ground or loop around palm trees, their stems wrist thick and their leaves huge, green, and multifingered. They are hardly recognizable compared to the juvenile forms, which are common houseplants. Young leaves have an arrowhead shape and range in color from solid green to shades of green with white, pink, or yellow markings that usually fade on adult leaves. Grow fast in moderately moist soil with lots of organic matter; reduce watering in winter. Indoors, maintain a minimum temperature of 60F, place in bright indirect light, and mist to keep leaves looking lush. Feed with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer monthly, spring through fall. For a compact, clumping plant that keeps producing young leaves, pinch stem tips and cut back runaway vining stems.
In the following entries, leaf descriptions apply to juvenile leaves.
S. podophyllum. Native from Mexico to Panama. Dark green, glossy leaves, 612 in. long, on slender, 1- to 2-ft.-long leafstalks. Many selections are available, including 'Emerald Gem', quilted green leaves with a varnished luster; 'Maya Red' (S. 'Maya Red'), pink young leaves; and 'White Butterfly', green-and-white marbled leaves on stout stems.
S. wendlandii. Native to Costa Rica. Velvety, thin-textured, green leaves, 48 in. long, with silver-gray veins. 'Neon Robusta' is an upright grower with pink leaves.