Rhaphidophora Decursiva vs Epipremnum Pinnatum

Are you need a fresh, exotic green addition to your indoor garden? Then, a pot of Rhaphidophora Decursiva or Epipremnum Pinnatum can be what you need. For some growers, Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum are different names for the same plants. However, they are other plants coming from separate genera.

You will feel very confused if you compare Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum. However, when you look closely, you can find numerous differences. If you cannot tell these plants apart, this article will help you understand the differences.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva vs Epipremnum Pinnatum
The main differences between Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum are their taxonomy, common names, leaf shape, leaf splits, leaf size, fenestrations, and flowers. Both plants have almost identical lush, glossy green leaves, but the Pinnatum’s leaves are much smaller than the Decursiva’s.

What is Rhaphidophora Decursiva?

Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a beautiful exotic plant descendant of the Araceae plant family. It is a unique plant that is not common as a houseplant. However, it is gaining more popularity these days. The plant is famous for its lush, shiny foliage.

As the name suggests, the plant is a part of the Rhaphidophora genus, and its common names lead to huge confusion. Sometimes, you can find it sold under various names, such as Pothos Decursiva or Philodendron Decursiva.

But these names refer to different genera. These names are not related to those of the Rhaphidophora genus. This plant has beautiful green leaves reflecting a gloss. Decrusiva’s leaves develop splits as they head toward maturity. The mature leaves have a pinnate shape.

As a juvenile plant, the stems of the Decursiva are not thick. But this changes as the plant grows. Decursiva is a climber and uses its aerial roots to climb nearby trees.

What is Epipremnum Pinnatum?

Epipremnum Pinnatum is another member of the Araceae family that looks a lot like Rhaphidophora Decursiva. It is a natural climber with stunning vines and smooth leaves. It is a perennial evergreen plant that works best as a decorative addition. However, it is not safe for pets and children.

You can leave it as a trailing plant growing in a hanging basket. Also, you can provide it with a supportive trellis to grow as a climbing plant. The natural habitat of this plant is tropical parts of Australia, including Oceania. Also, you can find this plant in the Caribbean islands and Southeast Asia forests.

The leaves of Epipremnum Pinnatum combine different shades of green. For instance, its top surface has a deep green shade, while the lower part of the leaf has a lighter shade. As this plant thrives, you can notice holes or fenestration on the leaves. Epipremnum Pinnatum is also known as the dragon tail plant.

What are the Differences between Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum?

Both plants have common similarities in appearance, growth needs, and habits. All these factors might be the reason behind such a mix-up. However, the confusion goes beyond the apparent similarities. 

Some people tend to consider any of these plants a pothos variety. But generally, setting these plants apart can be easy if you observe them closely.

1. Taxonomy

Their genus taxonomy is a breaking point in identifying and comparing Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum. Both of them descend from the same big Araceae family.

However, the genus is not the same. Rhaphidophora Decursiva comes from the Rhaphidophora genus. On the other hand, Epipremnum Pinnatum is a part of the Epipremnum genus.

2. Common names

Another point that distinguishes both plants and causes confusion is that people call both plants dragon’s tail. However, it is only the nickname for Epipremnum Pinnatum. The most common name for Rhaphidophora Decursiva is Philodendron Decursiva, despite not being a true philodendron.

3. Leaf shape

At first glance, the leaves will appear identical. They are both green and pinnatifid. But when you concentrate on the details of each plant, you will notice differences in the shapes of leaves. The leaves of Rhaphidophora Decursiva are more elongated than those of Epipremnum Pinnatum. The latter has more rounded leaves.

4. Leaf splits

Splits appear on the mature leaves of both plants. These splits are located on both sides of each leaf. However, the splits have different patterns. For instance, the splits of Rhaphidophora Decursiva are more prominent in number and size.

5. Leaf size

Both plants have small leaves at the beginning of their life cycles. But as they grow, their life sizes will vary. Indoors, the leaves of a fully-grown Decursiva plant can be around 1 meter long. It spreads to be about 50 cm wide.

Epipremnum Pinnatum leaves, on the other hand, are smaller than Decursiva’s. A grown Pinnatum leaf can be 40 cm long. Sometimes, the leaves can reach 50 cm. So basically, Decursiva’s leaves are double the size of Pinnatum’s (dragon’s tail) leaves.

6. Fenestrations

Another considerable difference between the leaves of Rhaphidophora Decursiva and those of Epipremnum Pinnatum is the juvenile growth stage. Both plants won’t feature fenestrations. On rare occasions, a young Epipremnum Pinnatum would have a few minor fenestrations.

However, a fully grown Epipremnum Pinnatum will show big fenestrated leaves. The leaves of Rhaphidophora Decursiva will not have perforations or fenestrations on their surfaces.

7. Flowers

Both plants produce flowers but barely bloom indoors. But if you are lucky enough, you might spot one or a few small flowers of any of these plants. The flowers of Decursiva are a fading yellow. The flowers of Epipremnum Pinnatum are mostly translucent.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva vs Epipremnum Pinnatum: are they the same?

Comparing Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum will lead you to confirm that they are not the same plant. Both plants have lush greenery and palm-like leaves. They are toxic climbing decorative plants. However, the details of each plant make it very unique.

Both plants fall into the Araceae family but are not from the same genus. The Epipremnum Pinnatum is a member of the Epipremnum genus, while the Decursiva is a member of the Rhaphidophora genus.

Another considerable difference between both plants is their common names. The Pinnatum plant is famous as the “dragon’s tail,” while the Decursiva is famous as Philodendron Decursiva.

The leaf features play a significant role in distinguishing both plants. Despite common similarities, the Decursiva has oval leaves, while the Pinnatum has round ones. Also, the leaves of Decursiva are not fenestrated, while Epipremnum Pinnatum develops fenestrations with maturity. The Decursiva has larger and more splits.

Decursiva has larger leaves in both indoor and outdoor growth styles. Lastly, the flower color of both plants is never the same. Decursiva has yellowish fluorescence, while Epipremnum Pinnatum has translucent ones.  

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