Syngonium podophyllum

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Syngonium podophyllum

Alternative common names:

African evergreen, American evergreen, arrowhead plant, arrowhead vine, five fingers.


 Goosefoot is an ornamental vine that has established invasive populations in South Africa, displacing indigenous plants and growing over indigenous trees. The plant has blue-green or green younger stems and leaf stalks. All parts of the plant are poisonous, causing severe mouth pain if eaten.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Mexico and Central America.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo and Category 2 for breeding in nurseries in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, but may not be transferred from within those provincial boundaries.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

How does it spread?

This species almost exclusively reproduces vegetatively in the wild, and is propagated and spread by cuttings in cultivation.

Why is it a problem?

All parts may cause severe mouth pain if ingested.

What does it look like?

Leaves: A creeping or climbing plant with leaves that vary in size, shape and colour depending on their position on the plant.

Flowers: The flowers consist of an elongated, whitish spike that is surrounded by a creamy-white to greenish structure.

Fruit/seeds: The fleshy fruits are red to reddish-orange in colour and usually hidden.

Does the plant have any uses?

Cultivated as a garden ornamental and indoor plant.

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