Philodendron Pastazanum vs Gloriosum – How To Identify

Philodendron Pastazanum and Philodendron Gloriosum are both Philodendrons with heart-shaped leaves. They have even been bred together to make a hybrid species known as Philodendron Dean McDowell or just McDowell for short. 

Both species are well-loved, thanks to their brilliant leaf patterns and simple care instructions. Though they may look similar at a glance because of their leaf shape, they have clear differences that help to tell them apart. 

The easiest way to identify Philodendron Pastazanum vs. Gloriosum is by their leaf veins: Pastazanum has veins deeply inset into the leaf, creating a pleated texture, while Gloriosum has a flatter leaf with veins on the surface. 

However, while that is the most apparent difference between the two Philodendrons, that isn’t the only one. To learn more about the differences between these two species and tips for helping differentiate them from other commonly mistaken Philodendrons, continue reading below. 

What are the differences between Pastazanum vs. Gloriosum?

gloriosum plant
There are quite a few differences between the Philodendron Pastazanum and Philodendron Gloriosum. The first is the growth rate. Though Philodendron is considered an average grower for Philodendron, the Gloriosum is regarded as a slow grower. 

The second way to tell them apart is the leaves. Though they are both heart-shaped, there are some differences. While Philodendron Gloriosum has velvety and matte leaves, the Philodendron Pastazanum has glossy, smooth leaves that are light green and catch the light. 

The leaves are also different based on their pleating. Philodendron Pastazanum has almost pleated leaves, as the veins are set deeply in the leaf. Meanwhile, Gloriosum leaves are flat as their veins are level with the leaf’s surface. This pleated pattern is often considered the most obvious way to tell the two apart. 

The leaves of the Philodendron Pastazanum are smaller as well, usually measuring 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), while Gloriosum leaves are generally around 35 inches (90 cm) in length. 

Though you can’t use it to identify the plants, another difference about them is that they come from different countries. The Pastazanum comes from Ecuador, while the Gloriosum originates in Columbia. Gloriosum is also found in Ecuador, Peru, and western Brazil, but Columbia is where the plant is most commonly found.

Pastazanum was initially found in Ecuador, which is how it got its name, but it can be found anywhere from Ecuador to Peru. This overlap is likely why the plants are so similar, even down to both being creeping plants, as they grow in similar locations. 

What Is a Philodendron Pastazanum?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding Philodendron Pastazanum. For one, it is often referred to as the same plant as Philodendron Dean McDowell. However, they are two different plants, with the Philodendron Dean McDowell being a hybrid of the Philodendron Pastazanum. 

This can lead to confusion about Philodendron Pastazanum’s physical traits and growing speed. 

The actual Philodendron Pastazanum is well-loved. It is known as ‘My Pasta’ on social media. It is a large plant with heart-shaped leaves, usually between a light yellow-green to a dark green and glossy. It was discovered sometime in the mid-1970s. 

Its name comes from where it grows in Pastaza, Ecuador. The plant can easily reach 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 m) in height and 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) in width. It is found naturally in the wild, so it is not a hybrid, cultivar, or variegation. 

Is Philodendron Pastazanum Rare?

Philodendron Pastazanum is considered very rare and is in high demand. You should feel fortunate if you manage to get your hands on one. Thankfully, they are pretty easy to take care of, so you don’t have to worry about this house plant dying on you with proper care. 

Can Philodendron Pastazanum Climb?

The Philodendron Pastazanum is a creeper. This means that it prefers to grow wide rather than up or down. However, if given ample things to climb on, it might change in elevation a little. 

Philodendron Pastazanum vs. McDowell

Dean mcdowell plant
Philodendron McDowell is a hybrid of Pastazanum. As you can imagine, this means there are many similarities between them. However, there are also enough differences that a trained eye can tell them apart. 

For example, where a Philodendron Pastazanum has glossy leaves, the McDowell usually has a velvety leaf texture that makes the leaf look more matte than glossy. The margins of the McDowell are typically red or pink, as are the veins. 

Meanwhile, the Philodendron Pastazanum has more green margins and a bit more of a whitish-green vein color. 

There are also the cataphylls, which are usually green in the Philodendron Pastazanum, while they are usually a bit redder in McDowells. New growths in McDowell Philodendron also tend to be a little pinker, while Pastazanum usually has a lime-green color on new growth. 

Finally, the petioles in McDowells usually consist of bolder and longer white lines, while Pastazanum has fainter and shorter lines. 

Philodendron Pastazanum vs. Plowmanii

There are only minor differences between the Philodendron Pastazanum and the Philodendron Plowmanii. The most significant difference is that Plowmannii usually has darker veins that stand out against the lighter green leaf itself, whereas Pastazanum’s are more of white color. 

What is a Philodendron Gloriosum?

Philodendron Gloriosum has a heart-shaped leaf that is flat with bold white veins. Sometimes, these veins may even have hints of pink or red. The leaves are velvety, which means they appear more matte in color and not glossy. 

While the leaves are dark green when they are mature, new leaves may have a hint of pink to them, and the edges of the leaves should be a dark pink or red. 

The leaves can grow large, easily up to 35 inches (90 cm). The stems themselves can be over 3 feet (1 m). They are usually smaller in a planter than in the wild but can still have large leaves. 

This Philodendron is native to Colombia, where it grows slowly. Its large leaves can take over a month to completely unfurl. 

Is Philodendron Gloriosum Rare?

Philodendron Gloriosum is considered ultra-rare and very in demand. They are rare because they don’t produce as many seeds and grow slowly. This, plus their high demand, usually means that they are pretty expensive. 

They are considered a vulnerable species, so if you get this plant, get it as a cutting from another plant owner so that the ones in the wild can continue to grow. 

Is Philodendron Gloriosum a Climber?

plant creeper
Like the Philodendron Pastazanum, the Philodendron Gloriosum is a creeper. It prefers to sprawl out and handles minimal elevation rather than climbing up on poles. This is nice because you can get beautiful decor on a ladder or a bookshelf, but you don’t need a moss or coir pole to make a difference on the plant. 

Philodendron McDowell vs. Gloriosum

When comparing this hybrid with its parent breed, it is relatively easy to tell apart. Philodendron Gloriosum usually has much darker leaves that are very velvety. It also has flatter leaves, which means the white veins are more pronounced and bold. 

Philodendron McDowell has lighter green and only slightly velvety leaves. Also, they are pleated, similar to the Philodendron Pastazanum, which means that the veins aren’t as bold.  


With well over 400 species of Philodendron, they aren’t always easy to tell apart. Some may look completely different, but others may look very similar. Thankfully, with the Gloriosum and the Pastazanum, some noticeable differences make them pretty simple to tell apart. The leaves are different enough that you can see the difference.

The easiest way to identify Philodendron Pastazanum vs. Gloriosum is by their leaf veins as Pastazanum Philodendron has veins deeply inset into the leaf, creating a texture similar to pleating, while Gloriosum has a flatter leaf with veins sitting on the surface. 

Both the Philodendron Pastazanum and the Philodendron Gloriosum are rare so if you see one for sale be sure to grab it before it’s gone!