15 responses to “Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’”

  1. Patrick Collins

    In Greek argyreos (ἀργυρεος) means silvery, argyreios (ἀργυρειος) means silver-bearing like a silver-mine. This variegation could certainly recall the streaks found in a rich lode of silvery ore.

    Argyraeus is a modern latinisation of a Greek word. Argentum is the Latin word for silver and Latin does have some loan words from the Greek, such as hydrargyrum (mercury, literally watersilver). However, old Latin did not have any word like argyraeus. The closest was the name of a plant, argyros.

    “Pictus” in Latin, of course, meant an inhabitant of Scotland. Or painted.

    The Oxford English Dictionary states quite clearly that skindapsos (σκινδαψός) was ancient Greek for an ivy-like plant, as well as thingamabob and a musical instrument. The Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott only has the four-stringed musical instrument and a ‘what d’ye call it’.

    1. Patrick Collins

      The scindapsus musical instrument was used for charming wild elephants in India, according to the Roman Claudius Aelianus.
      https://archive.org/details/L449AelianCharacteristicsOfAnimalsIII1217/page/n37

  2. Denis

    One of my favorite house plants. I grow it in a hanging basket, not realizing it had the sort of habit. I may have to give it the opportunity to grow a bit differently, perhaps I can put a cutting in with my fishtail palm.

  3. Brynn Allen

    The HawaiinTropical Garden is a real treasure for the island of Hawaii, aka The Big Island. I was there in 2016 and had to put my camera down to rest my arms. Another wonderful garden to visit is the Waimea Valley Arboretum on the North Shore of Oahu. If you do let me know and I will host you for lunch

  4. Steve Ripley

    Love your description of yourself!!

  5. Marcus Phelps-Munson

    Beautiful plant with wonderful stories about the origin and meaning behind its name.

  6. Perry Kneedler

    Really enjoyed the comments and information. English is often aggravating to dyslexics in my family.. The etymologies and cultural tracing make it more humorous and bearable. Imagining the thingamabob/plant development of the word has provided much entertainment.

  7. lynn

    I can feel the warm humidity in this photo – it’s beautifully done, Daniel. I love the way the leaves are pressed so closely to the tree, and that very subtle overlap in the leaves that you mention – wow. The curving, jointed roots are also quite beautiful. And that subdued lighting….

  8. Wendy Cutler

    I asked Daniel if his use of the common name “satin potho” in the first sentence might be a typo. He referred me to the two links in the article, one RHS and the other Missource Botanical Garden, both showing “satin potho” as the common name.​ I see that the Missouri BG page has the sentence “​​Scindapsus pictus, commonly known as satin pothos or silk pothos, is a slow-growing tropical evergreen climber…”. And later “Satin pothos leaves …”. It doesn’t even use the common name it suggests.​ So though both the references in this article use the common name “potho”, one doesn’t really use it.​

    And if “potho” were the common name, wouldn’t people have to pronounce the plural “pothos” something like pothoz?

  9. Janeal W. Thompson

    Purchased one of these as a houseplant for my home here in southeastern Colorado last fall. Truly a lovely plant and I’ll forward this article to my son who introduced the gorgeous satin potho to me.

  10. Richard Droker

    I love the way the leaves are arranged. Having seen plants with similar “flattened” alternate arrangement on trees in Peru I wonder if there is a term for that particular configuration.

    1. Wendy Cutler

      The term “distichous” describes that leaf arrangement, with alternate leaves on opposite sides of the stem. I didn’t realize that it only applies to alternate leaves. You might be interested to hear the pronunciation here:
      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/distichous

      1. Richard Droker

        Thank you Wendy!

  11. Rachel

    I really love this shingling habit. I’ve been trying to convince my Scindapsus to climb on mounted coarse fabric for about a year now with no luck. I’m having better luck with its less-demanding cousin Epipremnum, but that doesn’t have the shingling effect I was really hoping for. I’m sure it needs more humidity than I can provide with misting in order to take.

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