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  1. Family: Araceae Juss.
    1. Chlorospatha Engl.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Costa Rica to Ecuador.


    CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

    Small to medium terrestrial herbs with milky latex; Leaf blades cordate, sagittate to trisect or pedatisect, with submarginal collective vein, finer venation reticulate; peduncle very slender, supported by petiole sheath; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; male flower a truncate synandrium, pollen shed in tetrads. Differs from Xanthosoma in having a narrow, elongate spathe tube, stylar region thin, spreading, and often mantle-like, sterile flowers between male and female flowers usually irregular or fungiform (not prismatic).
    General Description
    Latex milky. HABIT : small to medium, evergreen herbs, stem epigeal to ± subterranean, acaulescent to elongate, decumbent to erect. LEAVES : 1 to several. PETIOLE : sheath long. BLADE : cordate, sagittate, hastate, trifid, trisect, pedatifid or pedatisect; basal ribs well-developed, primary lateral veins pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein, 1 or more distinct marginal veins also present, secondary and tertiary laterals arising from the primaries at a wide angle, forming interprimary collective vein, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : 3-8 in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : very slender, much shorter than petiole and supported by sheath. SPATHE : constricted, tube with convolute margins, narrow, elongate, ± cylindric to narrowly ellipsoid, persistent, blade boat-shaped to more widely expanded, sometimes fornicate, rather narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, marcescent after anthesis and deciduous. SPADIX : female zone free or adnate to spathe, laxly or densely flowered, separated from male zone by longer or shorter laxly or densely flowered sterile zone, male zone densely flowered, fertile to apex. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-5-androus, stamens connate into truncate synandrium, deeply or shallowly-lobed, fused connectives thickened, thecae extending almost to base of synandrium, oblong, dehiscing by short longitudinal slit. POLLEN : extruded in strands, shed in tetrads, inaperturate, spherical or subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean 26 µm., range 24-29 µm., tetrad mean 45 µm., range 41-48 µm.), exine psilate or very obscurely punctate to obscurely verruculate to foveolate-reticulate. STERILE FLOWERS : consisting either of free staminodes or partially or completely connate into irregular, fungiform or 3-4 lobed synandrodes, rarely prismatic. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecium semi-ovoid to subhemispheric, ovary (1-)2-4 (-5)-locular, ovules several per locule, anatropous to hemianatropous, funicle rather long, placentae pseudoaxile or axile, rarely basal ( C. longipoda), style short to relatively long, usually expanded into thin, spreading, evanescent mantle contiguous with neighbouring ones, usually containing numerous red chromoplasts, more rarely style with only a short, rim-like lateral outgrowth ( C. longipoda, C. mirabilis), stigma subhemispheric or slightly lobed. BERRY : depressed-globose, somewhat 3-5-furrowed, stigma remnant persistent, many-seeded, white to yellowish. SEED : minute, ovoid to ellipsoid, white, testa longitudinally costate, embryo elongate, axile, endosperm copious.
    C. & W. South America.
    Tropical humid forest; terrestrial on forest floor, well shaded creek beds or in boggy areas.



    Native to:

    Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panamá

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Chlorospatha Engl. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in E.von Regel, Gartenflora: 97 (1878)

    Accepted by

    • Croat, T.B. & Hannon, L.P. (2015). A revision of the genus Chlorospatha (Araceae) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 101: 1-259.
    • Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.


    CATE Araceae
    Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.