ENY-715/IN530: Wildland Weeds: Arrowhead Vine, Syngonium podophyllum

ENY-715/IN530: Wildland Weeds: Arrowhead Vine, Syngonium podophyllum

E. C. Morgan, W. A. Overholt, Okay. A. Langeland, and Brent Sellers2


For years, folks have come to south Florida to flee the chilly climate and benefit from the subtropical local weather. With this migration, horticulturists and novice plant lovers have launched many species of unique vegetation from the tropics, making an attempt to create their very own tropical oases. Whereas most of those vegetation both rapidly perish or by no means unfold outdoors of the yard, just a few escape and unfold to adjoining pure and semi-disturbed areas and create persistent self-perpetuating populations. These vegetation are referred to as invasive, and so they can wreak havoc within the environments of their adopted residence. Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum) is certainly one of these damaging invaders.


Arrowhead vine (Determine 1) is listed as a Class I invasive species by the Florida Unique Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC 2003). By definition, unique vegetation on this listing alter native plant communities by displacing native species, altering neighborhood constructions or ecological features, or hybridizing with natives.

Determine 1. 

Flower and mature leaf of Syngonium podophyllum.

Credit score:

Mayo et al. (1995)

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

There aren’t any native members of the genus Syngonium in Florida, which guidelines out hybridization as an influence, but it’s straightforward to see the impact the plant has upon native communities. Arrowhead vine is a powerful climber, simply reaching the tops of our native bushes. The stems by which it climbs are thick and fleshy giving them a weight a lot heavier than most native vines, thus doubtlessly making bushes high heavy and extra prone to toppling in a powerful wind. Latest work additionally has proven that arrowhead vine poses a menace to a number of endangered species of native ferns in Florida (Possley 2004).

In a number of areas of St. Lucie and Indian River counties, arrowhead vine has created a thick floor cowl that’s largely impenetrable to different vegetation (Morgan pers. obs.), and its in depth root system makes the plant extraordinarily troublesome to take away.

Arrowhead vine is presently commonest within the southern third of peninsular Florida however was just lately reported from as far north as Alachua County (Judd 2003). In St. Lucie county, the place beforehand it had gone unreported, arrowhead vine has just lately been discovered to be domestically plentiful (Morgan and Overholt 2005), resulting in the likelihood that this invader could also be considerably extra widespread than presently realized.

UF/IFAS Evaluation

Arrowhead vine has been reviewed utilizing the IFAS Evaluation of Non-Native Vegetation in Florida’s Pure Areas (UF/IFAS 2018), which offers a mechanism by which all UF/IFAS Extension publications conform of their description and categorization of non-native vegetation which might be invading pure areas in Florida. The conclusions had been that arrowhead vine is invasive and never really useful to be used anyplace within the state. Arrowhead vine has identified excessive ecological impacts within the southern and central zones and though it has not but been present in undisturbed areas within the northern zone, it’s thought to have the potential to trigger ecological injury within the north as properly. This species additionally is taken into account to have excessive potential for growth in all areas of the state and excessive problem of administration.


For these concerned about monitoring and eradicating the plant, arrowhead vine is kind of straightforward to establish. Seedlings of the plant (Determine 2) are fairly frequent and have one to a number of easy, sagittate (arrowhead-shaped) leaves, inside which there’s excessive variation of coloration, many seedlings displaying completely different ranges of a white-green variegation.

Determine 2. 

Seedling of Syngonium podophyllum with easy leaf.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Older vegetation have compound leaves which look completely different from these of the seedlings. They’ve 15–24 inch (15–60 cm) lengthy petioles (leaf branches) and three to 12 leaflets of various measurement, the bigger ones in direction of the middle (Determine 3). Leaflets are typically darkish inexperienced above and pale inexperienced under and leaves and stem comprise a milky sap.

Determine 3. 

Mature leaf of Syngonium podophyllum with compound leaf.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Arrowhead vine has a typical araceous spadix and spathe sort inflorescence (Determine 1), often occurring in clusters of 5 to eight after the plant has matured and climbed a excessive into the tree cover.

As with many vegetation within the horticultural commerce, arrowhead vine goes by quite a few frequent names together with American evergreen, fivefingers, and nephthitis. Generally accessible cultivars embrace “white butterfly” and “pink allusion”.

What are you able to do?

If in case you have arrowhead vine rising in your land, it ought to be eliminated to maintain it from spreading to pure areas. Hand pulling is feasible however sprouts break simply and can re-sprout, so care have to be taken in order that they’re fully eliminated. Vegetation that are discarded have to be disposed of correctly, ideally in sealed plastic rubbish baggage previous to switch to an authorised landfill. Some folks maintain arrowhead vine as a home plant, which poses little environmental menace. Nonetheless, if home vegetation are trimmed or discarded, vegetation and plant components have to be correctly disposed of in plastic baggage. Notice that gloves ought to be worn when eradicating arrowhead vine, as sap might be irritating to delicate people.

Herbicides alone or together with hand pulling can be utilized to regulate arrowhead vine. Herbicide merchandise with the energetic ingredient glyphosate (examples: Roundup Professional Focus, Glyphos, Glypro Plus, Landing Professional, Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Focus) or triclopyr (examples: Garlon 3A, Garlon 4, Brush-B-Gon, Brush Killer) are utilized to the foliage and stems. Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Focus, Brush-B-Gon, and Brush Killer might be bought from retail backyard provide shops. (Langeland & Stocker 1997).


FLEPPC. 2019. 2019 Listing of Invasive Plant Species. (https://www.fleppc.org/listing/listing.htm, Accessed 6/25/2019)

Judd, W.S. 2003. “New and noteworthy collections from Florida.” Castanea 68:81–83.

Langeland, Okay.A. and R. Stocker. 1997. Management of Non-Native Vegetation in Pure Areas of Florida. SP242. Gainesville: College of Florida Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences.

Mayo, S.J., J. Bogner, and P.C. Boyce. 1997. The genera of Araceae. Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens Press. 370pp.

Morgan, E.C. and W.A. Overholt. 2005. “New data of unique invasive plant species in St. Lucie County, FL.” Castanea 70:59–62.

Possley, J. 2004. “Unique species threaten uncommon ferns in Miami-Dade county.” Wildland Weeds 7:12–15.

College of Florida, Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences. 2018. “Evaluation of Non-native Vegetation in Florida’s Pure Areas, ” (https://evaluation.ifas.ufl.edu/assessments/syngonium-podophyllum/, Accessed 6/25/2019) Gainesville, FL, 32611-4000.

U.S. Division of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, College of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M College Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

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