The common house plant "Golden Pothos" has escaped its confinements and stretched its vines high up the trunks of South Florida's trees!
"Golden Pothos" Epipremnum pinnatum, Titusville, FL 01/10/22
Watch our short youtube video here to get a glimpse at this giant in the wild! ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️
Last year in Lithia Springs, FL we spotted our first Pothos in the wild and I about lost my marbles. As an avid house plant collector, *who, keep in mind, had to re-home all her wonderful plants when she moved into a travel trailer* I was THRILLED to see this beautiful giant climbing a tree, sporting leaves bigger than my torso. But, as they say, ignorance is bliss... Turns out the Golden Pothos is an invasive species to Florida and tends to swallow up trees in its path to the heavens. Many residents use this plant as a ground cover in landscaping, but BEWARE as these aggressive growers will take any chance they get to climb high and spread far.
The Golden Pothos is currently listed as a stage II invasive species meaning it is spreading in the wild, but hasn't done any serious ecological damage... YET!
All this talk about Pothos being so aggressive and invasive, I almost forgot to tell y'all the best part! That's right, we've got potential for medicine on our hands! According to a 2019 study published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology:
"[Golden Pothos] is known as a popular indoor ornamental plant in western countries with the property to remove air pollutants, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and chloroform (Liu et al., 2011; Tada et al., 2010). In traditional Chinese medicine, aqueous leaf extracts have been used for detoxification and treatment of tendonitis, fractures, burns, carbuncles, sores, redness, and cancer (Chan et al., 2008; Siew et al., 2014). In other regions, such as Papua New Guinea and Rotuman, the plant has been used against inflammation, diabetes, and malaria (McClatchey, 1996; WHO, 2009). Even today, Epipremnum is part of herbal formulations, such as plasters, ointments, and medicinal wines (Ren, 2010; Li, 2013; Zhang 2013; Xiang and Zhang, 2014; Zong, 2014; Liu, 2015; Wang, 2015; Zong, 2015)."
Furthermore, this 2019 study affirmed anti-inflammatory activity of Epipremnum pinnatum (Golden Pothos) extracts, proposed by earlier hypotheses. Overall more extensive research needs to be explored to better understand the medicinal properties of this plant, but what a great way to begin thinking about solutions with how to deal with this plant's invasive behaviors in Florida!
Pan SP, Pirker T, Kunert O, et al. C13 Megastigmane Derivatives From Epipremnum pinnatum: β-Damascenone Inhibits the Expression of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines and Leukocyte Adhesion Molecules as Well as NF-κB Signaling. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1351. Published 2019 Nov 28. doi:10.3389/fphar.2019.01351