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Nephthytis Vs Syngonium: Which One Should You Grow?

If you are trying to settle the Nephthytis vs Syngonium similarity debate, you are among the few people desperately attempting to find solid details to know which one is which.

Generally, Nephthytis and Syngonium share many similarities, such as leaf shape, growth rate, habit, inflorescence, propagation means, and growth conditions. However, you can distinguish between the two by looking at the colors, texture, shape, and arrangement of their leaves and flowers.

Syngonium and Nephthytis are alike-looking plants that can baffle even the most skillful gardeners.

So, by the end of the article, you will easily be able to distinguish between these two.

Nephthytis & Syngonium: Overview

Nephthytis and Syngonium are the genus of flowering plants in the plant family Araceae and are tropical aroids.

They are closely associated with Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Monsteras in habit, cultural conditions, growth rate, flowering periods, and inflorescence.

Nepthytis and Syngonium have many varieties, but they share several similarities. Hence, they are often confused with each other.

  • Nephthytis and Syngonium are evergreen perennials inhabiting the wet tropical and sub-tropical biomes.
  • They are climbers or show a semi-epiphytic habit and comprise underground rhizomes that shoot out the leaves above the soil.
  • Syngonium and Nephthytis prefer high humidity, dappled sunlight, warm temperatures, and barely acidic, organically rich soil to grow.
Image illustrates the growth habit of Syngonium and Nephthytis
Nephthytis and Syngonium are climbers in their natural habitat.
  • They both display extensive growth rates during spring and summer but remain dormant in fall and winter.
  • Syngonium and Nephthytis can propagate easily using node-bearing rhizomatous stem sections, but they have low germination rate if you use seeds.
  • The inflorescence of Syngonium and Nephthytis is Spathe and Spadix, which is a common flowering habit of aroids.
  • The leaves of both plants are arrowhead-shaped at first glimpse, with pointed tips and a base with a deep cut towards the center. 

Nephthytis Vs Syngonium: Differences 

These similar-looking plants are not the same, but people confuse them as they have similar leaf shapes.

Additionally, due to the shape of their leaves, they are commonly called ‘Arrowheads.’

They also have numerous similar-looking varieties with a myriad of leaf variegations and shapes.

However, you can easily see the difference in their native range and morphology of leaves and flowers.

1. Native Range/ Origin

Nephthytis species is native to the tropical regions of Western Africa and a small part of the New Guinea Islands.

However, Syngonium species are available in places ranging from tropical areas of Mexico to Central America and all the way up to the Northern and Central parts of South America.  

2. Leaves

The margin of the matte leaves towards the tip is broader, offering a heart-shaped appearance in Syngonium.

In the case of Nephthytis, the leaves are glossy with slender margins, giving it a near-perfect arrowhead shape.

Image illustrates the comparison of leaf shapes between Nephthytis and Syngonium
Nephthytis leaves have a more slender shape than the leaves of Syngonium.

Also, the flaps present at the leaf base are wide in some Syngonium varieties, while the flaps are closer in the varieties of Nephthytis.

3. Inflorescence

The Spadix of Nephthytis consists of closely organized clusters of male flowers at the top and widely spaced open, visible female flowers at the base.

One of the differences between Nephthytis and Syngonium is the color of the Spathe.

However, the Spadix of Syngonium has loosely arranged groups of male flowers at the top, but the female flowers below are not apparent as flaps of Spathe wrap them tightly.

Also, the spathe of Nephthytis is glossy green, while the spathe of Syngonium is matte green.

From Editorial Team


Nephthytis and Syngonium are two different species of aroids with similar but unique leaf shapes.

Although they have similar growing conditions and a lot of varieties to choose from for home decor, they are toxic for your pets and children! 

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