Philodendron belong to the Araceae family of plants and some of them become enormous and climb to great heights. This cultivar of Philodendron bipinnatifidum, called 'Xanadu', however, is a popular and compact plant for creating a tropical effect where there is not a lot of available space for some of the larger-leaved foliage plants. It was apparently discovered as a chance seedling in Western Australia in 1983. It has very attractive lobed leaves that are richly green and lush. It grows to around 75 cm in height and eventually makes a 1m-wide clump. It needs no attention once established, apart from occasional watering and some fertiliser once a year.
A shady position amongst other tropical-looking plants suits it best - I grow mine amongst bromeliads, Alocasia, bird's nest ferns, giant Liriope, cane Begonia and Abutilon. It is well suited to life outdoors in Sydney; but in colder regions, it can be grown as a patio plant, or even indoors, as long as there is sufficient light. Apparently, it will also grow well in a sunny position. It can be propagated by division.
There is a golden form of this plant, which is very beautiful. However, it seems slower-growing than the green version. It is wonderful for bringing light into shady areas and grows well in a pot, as illustrated at right.