By Emma Kelt, | 07/05/2023

The accepted name for the Philodendron mamei is Philodendron mamei André, but for the sake of this article, we will simply refer to it as the Philodendron mamei. Similarly, the cultivated variety is known as Philodendron mamei cv 'Silver Cloud', will be referred to as Philodendron 'Silver Cloud' throughout the article.

Philodendron mamei & philodendron silver cloud identification guide

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Distinguishing Between Philodendron Mamei and 'Silver Cloud': A Guide for Plant Enthusiasts

Philodendrons are popular houseplants known for their lush, tropical foliage. Two varieties that are often confused with one another are the Philodendron mamei and the Philodendron mamei cv ‘Silver Cloud’. Although they share some similarities, there are some key differences between the two. 

Philodendron species morphology features Philodendron Mamei & Philodendron Silver Cloud


The Philodendron 'Silver Cloud' and the Philodendron mamei both have large, heart-shaped leaves that are silvery-green in colour with prominent veins. However, here are some distinguishing features between the two:

Leaf shape: The leaves of the Philodendron mamei are more elongated and narrower than those of the Philodendron 'Silver Cloud', which are more rounded.

Leaf texture: The leaves of the Philodendron mamei have a slightly rough texture, while the leaves of the Philodendron 'Silver Cloud' are smooth.

Spathe & Cataphyll colour: The spathe and cataphyll on the Philodendron mamei are reddish-brown and the spathe on the Philodendron 'Silver Cloud' is green and white and the cataphyll is green.

Confusion between the two

The confusion between the Philodendron mamei and the Philodendron 'Silver Cloud' began when wholesale nurseries released plants mislabelled Philodendron mamei which were the Philodendron 'Silver Cloud'. This mislabelling led to confusion among plant enthusiasts.

Tips for identification

While the Philodendron mamei cv ‘Silver Cloud’ and the Philodendron Mamei share some similarities, there are a few more key differences that can help distinguish between the two. Here are a few things you can look for:

Philodendron mamei identification images

Philodendron mamei

  • Philodendron mamei usually grows horizontally along the ground or a surface (creeper) but can sometimes be found climbing.
  • Juvenile leaves are covered by a reddish-brown sheath or cover called a cataphyll.
  • The spadix (type of inflorescence) is surrounded by a red, triangular-shaped structure called a spathe (protective shield around the spadix).
  • The stem that attaches the leaf to the plant is called a petiole. The petiole has stripes running down its length and it is slightly ruffled near the leaf and the ruffles can travel halfway down the petiole.
  • The leaf of the Philodendron mamei is narrower and more elongated than the ‘Silver Cloud’.
  • The amount of silver variegation on the leaf is highly variable, with some plants showing little to no variegation while others display significant patches of silver.

How to Identify The Philodendron Silver Cloud

Philodendron 'Silver Cloud'

  • Typically grows horizontally along the ground or a surface (creeper), but it can be trained to climb.
  • The cataphyll on a Philodendron 'Silver Cloud' is green. A cataphyll is a modified leaf, which surrounds any newly developing leaf to protect it as it develops.
  • The spathe is green and white. The Spathe is a protective shield around the spadix to provide protection and it helps to attract pollinators. A spadix is a type of inflorescence (a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem).
  • The stem that attaches the leaf to the plant, known as the petiole, is green and has a wavy appearance with ruffles and flattened sides that have a slightly bumpy texture, and these waves go about halfway down the petiole.
  • The petiole insertion, the area where the petiole connects to the leaf, in between the sinus is a reddish colour but the rest of the petiole is green.
  • The leaf blade is a rounded, heart-shaped and has a textured, quilt-like appearance.
  • The variegation of the leaves can differ widely; some plants may only have a small amount of silver, while others might have significant patches of silver variegation.

Both species offer unique and stunning foliage that will make a beautiful addition to any plant collection. Whether you prefer the elongated leaves of the Philodendron mamei or the more rounded leaves of the Philodendron mamei cv 'Silver Cloud', their silvery-green colour and prominent veins are sure to make a statement. With proper care, these Philodendrons can thrive indoors, providing a touch of tropical elegance to any space. 

Philodendron mamei cv 'Silver Cloud' & Philodendron mamei André IdentificationPhilodendron mamei cv 'Silver Cloud' & Philodendron mamei André Identification

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