OK. This one is a little twisted. Let me start this one with how I came about this plant in the first place. I was at Lowe’s buying plants in August 2012 and the employee at Lowe’s was unpacking boxes of mixed planters that had arrived. A few of them had been turned upside-down and the plants and potting soil were all mixed up together. She said I could have one of them for $2.00. SO, how could I turn down an offer like that? One of several plants was this Dieffenbachia. I did some research on the Exotic Angel website and found and found the name of this plant was Dieffenbachia maculata ‘Camille’. Well, names have changed…
Dieffenbachia Schott is the correct and accepted name for the genus. It was named and described by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst in 1829.
Dieffenbachia seguine (Jacq.) Schott is now the correct and accepted scientific name for this plant. It was named and described by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst in 1829. It was first named and described as Arum seguine by Nicolaus (Nicolaas) Joseph von Jacquin in Enumeratio Systematica Plantarum in 1760.
Mr. Schott also described Dieffenbachia seguine in Meletemata Botanica in 1832 but that description was deemed invalid. That’s strange since his description was already accepted in 1829.
There are 57 accepted species of Dieffenbachia according to Plants of the World Online by Kew. (as of 11-12-18 when this page was updated). There are 54 synonyms of Dieffenbachia seguine alone.
When I first researched the name of this plant, most websites (from companies selling the plant) said it was a Dieffenbachia maculata. That species is now a synonym of Dieffenbachia sequine. According to Plants of the World Online and other Kew resources, IPNI and even the 2013 version of The Plant List, Dieffenbachia maculata (G.Lodd.) Sweet was named and described by Robert Sweet in Sweet’s Hortus Britannicus, third edition, in 1839. Tropicos says the legitimate name was Dieffenbachia maculata (Lodd.) G.Don, named and described by George Don in Hortus Britannicus in 1839 and names Mr. Sweet as the “IN Author”. Dieffenbachia maculata was first named and described as Caladium maculatum G.Lodd. by George Loddiges in Botanical Cabinet in 1822.
Origin: South America
Zones: USDA Zones 10b-11(35-40° F)
Size: 3-10 feet tall
Light: Light to full shade
Soil: Well-drained potting soil
Water: Water regularly during growing season.
CAUTION: All parts are poison.
Older websites state that Dieffenbachia ‘Camille’ is a hybrid “form” of Dieffenbachia maculata (which is now synonym of Dieffenbachia seguine). I found no evidence to support ‘Camille’ is a hybrid. This cultivar grows to a height of around 48″, which is smaller than it’s parent which can grow to 6-8 feet. As with many plants, the size can be kept smaller if grown in a smaller pot. Dieffenbachia ‘Camille’ will grow leaves to 10″ long and creamy white variegation surrounded by green.
Dieffenbachia’s have long been one of the most popular houseplants as they are great for lower light levels inside a home.
The leaves and stems contain calcium oxalate crystals which can be poisonous if eaten, as with other members of the Araceae Family.
Perhaps someday I will try another Dieffenbachia as I gave mine to a friend when I moved from Mississippi. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Click on the “Like” below if you viewed this page. Be sure to check out the links below for further reading and how to care for your Dieffenbachia.