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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Schismatoglottis wallichii (Updated 1st Feb 2022)


This particular plant is known as Schismatoglottis wallichii,  however I still cannot find any common name on this one so far. Locally in Malay it is identified as "Pokok Keladi Lintah" denoting as a leech plant. Its also known as Drop Tongue Plant however another Agloanema species is identified as "Painted Drop Tongue" Plant which is creating more confusion when it comes to common names.

Schismatoglottis wallichii appears to to a native plant in my region. This species is native to Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Thailand where it grows under the canopy of a thick dense jungle in between fallen leaves and swampy areas.


The foliage have a oblong shape where the leaf contain wrinkles (fan like folds) with a heart shaped coloration light green band around the foliage perimeter. Truly it does have a beautiful ornamental feature and have a very stable structure where the leaves doesn't get damaged by burns or bitten by pest.


I find it works best in indirect bright light - the balance seemed to be very optimum for this one.


A Balance mix of potting mix together with sand (50%) to give the fast draining medium. Often I find this succumb to rot at the root base during long period of heavy rain at year end - I realized that this one can't stand being too wet. However, it does bounce back once the rain season is over.


Adequate watering but not too much as it can root the rootball. However lacking water can cause the plant where the leaves becomes droopy - once immediately watered when in this condition, the plant picks back up to its normal vigor.


I find the foliar liquid fertilizer works best for this of which I apply for all my foliage plants. This plant does grow slowly but once it established itself - I will span out wider to over all the ground areas and so do take note that space is needed for this one to stretch out.


I find the best so far is pup division appearing from the base of the plant - new plantlets appears from there to form a new colony.


I had come across mealy bugs & scale insect appearing on the back of it's leaves but it easily eradicated by pruning and washing. I had stopped using pesticide in my garden as I don't want to use any chemical in my garden. At best - I do look out to use home-made organic pesticide as I don't want to disturb the ecology in my garden.

I would say this plant is very ideal to cultivate in shaded area in the garden where bright direct sunlight is unavailable. The foliage appears to be stable without discoloration where the lighting dictates the pigmentation of the foliage.

Unlike Dieffenbachia or Agloanema where bright indirect light is required to add colors in it's variegated form - this one doesn't behave as such.

Another interesting feature is the fading of the foliage - the whole leaf turns to cream yellow and truly it is a sight to behold to see such a coloration.

This particular one is an ariod and have it's inflorescent similar like any other ariod features.

Schismatoglottis wallichii / Schismatoglottis calyprata

Commonly known as DropTongue Plant, native to Southeast Asia region around Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the surrounding region. It grows well under thick forest floor in between fallen leaves and swampy areas.

There are about 100 different species which are found in the wild and mostly native to Borneo, these are cultivated as ornamental plants.

Here I share about the Light, Watering, Pest Management, Propagation and Plant Characteristics.

UPDATES (Updated 1st Feb 2022)

Here are some of the pictures for your viewing pleasure. I have found that this particular plant does very well when grown bigger and even when cultivated as a singular plant in as a potted plant - it still give out that ecstatic beauty regardless the conditions. 
Here it appears to be doing very well clustered together with other shade loving plants.


I recently had found that pruning overgrown and almost spent leaves actually the plant to produce new and better looking new leaf fronds - constantly appearing fresh and robust - usually I would leave it as it letting the leaves turn yellow naturally and dry away. However, when I started pruning these spend leaves now - they are more glorious in appearance.

These would do as great features for colors and texture for compact gardening theme in small tight spaces especially for indoor gardening conditions - however they do require good bright indirect light to thrive and grow well.


Anonymous said...

Hello there! I just got this too. However, mine is not doing too great. The stems are all droopy compared to when I first got it. I had asked the nursery to repot it, so I'm not sure if it's a problem that happened then. Are the roots for this deep? I put this on my balcony where it is very bright and windy, but no direct sun. How often do you water this plant? I'm not sure if my droopy stems is a result of too much or too little water, or simply too hot temperatures. They do perk up a bit at night. Thanks in advance! Your plant looks fantastic.

James David said...

Hi there.

Sorry to hear about your plant - I had the same problem few times - happens whenever I replant or separate the pups from the mother plant but it will perk up within few days.

Do plant it in a fast draining medium but make sure the soil is always moist - not soggy mud wet as it will cause root rot. If I understand correctly based on what you mentioned - I think your plant is suffering from dehydration. Try to water more and see - if it perks up then basically you are facing underwater problem.

Maya Garcia-Hector said...

Beautiful! I cannot seem to find anyone growing this plant commercially in the states. I'd love to grow one someday.

James David said...

Hi Maya,
I highly doubt that this plant had made an international hit - Its slowly picking a local market here and still to say a fairly a local plant which many people here are slowly getting used to ID of the plant. All the best of searching for this prized plant.

Unknown said...

Hello. My wallichii is always turning yellow but i don't overwater it. I water it maybe 1-2 times a week when the topsoil is dry. I put it indoors but has access to indirect light. Any advice?

James David said...

Hi, Just check at the bottom side if you notice any rot taking place. When you mentioned turning yellow - does that mean the leaves are turning yellow as it ages or immaturely turning yellow - chances are it maybe lacking adequate water?
It is a bit difficult to determine what's wrong with it without viewing the pictures.
Do email me and send me the pictures and I can follow up with you.

Scroll down below the blogpost and there is a Contact Form all the below - follow up with me and I try my best to help you.

Anonymous said...

Its common name is Drop Tongue Plant.

Mischelle said...

I was lucky to find the last one and almost abandoned in a local nursery here in Sarawak. I've been wanting to have one for myself so just a few minutes later another customer walked in, she as the nursery worker if the have any left.🤣

Mischelle said...

I was lucky to find the last one and almost abandoned in a local nursery here in Sarawak. I've been wanting to have one for myself so just a few minutes later another customer walked in, she as the nursery worker if the have any left.🤣

Unknown said...

i love to have one but not sure if this plant is tough enough to endure a 7 days transit enclose and uprooted since seller is from afar

James David said...

Hi Mischelle, I understand that situation - I too had grabbed the last standing plant before in the nursery too. Thanks for sharing.

Hello, think it can handle 7 days of stress if wrapped & packed properly but again there is always risk involved when plants send by courier.

Unknown said...

I bought one today in Australia so they are getting around in the international plant scene.

James David said...

Im amazed to know its now getting all around.. Thanks

Francebissonnette said...

Merci beaucoup pour les informations

James David said...

You are welcome

Unknown said...

I got one of these today, I'm in the U.K, so they are getting around now.

Francebissonnette said...

Le mien vas très bien .Du Québec,Canada

Unknown said...

I have my plant given to me but as of now I can't understand its characteristics as it started drooping its leaves and only those small leaves were left and after how.manybdays it has flower.

James David said...

If the leaves are drooping then it means its lacking water and very dehydrated. Try to keep the soil medium moist and regulated.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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