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  1. Family: Araceae Juss.
    1. Rhaphidophora Hassk.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa to W. Pacific.


    Araceae, S.J. Mayo. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

    Lianescent or epiphytic perennial herbs with tough fibrous stems; all parts of the plant (especially floral tissues) containing needle-like trichosclereids
    Leaves numerous; petiole pulvinate apically, with sheath extending over most of petiole length; blade entire, oblong-ovate or lanceolate, often oblique (pinnatifid or perforated in many extra-African species); primary and secondary lateral veins parallel
    Inflorescences 1–few, appearing with the leaves Spathe boat-shaped, erect, soon withering and deciduous after flowering Spadix cylindric, uniform in appearance
    Flowers bisexual, lacking perigon, densely congested
    Stamens 4; anthers dehiscing by oblique apical slits; connective very slender; filaments oblong, flattened
    Pistil prismatic, truncate at apex; ovary unilocular, with 1–2(–3) intrusive parietal placentas and sometimes also base of locule bearing ovules; stigma sessile, linear to elliptic, ± prominent
    Berries many-seeded
    Seeds elongate, fusiform or flattened, straight or slightly curved; endosperm copious; embryo axile, straight or slightly curved.

    CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

    Trop. Africa to W. Pacific.
    Evergreen, often very robust, climbing hemiepiphytes, very rarely rheophytic, with abundant trichosclereids; petiole geniculate apically, sheath usually long; leaf blade entire, pinnatifid to pinnatisect, sometimes perforate, fine venation from parallel-pinnate to reticulate; spathe deciduous after flowering; flowers bisexual, perigone absent. Differs from Epipremnum in usually numerous ovules, on 2 (rarely 3) parietal placentas, seeds oblong, straight. Differs from Scindapsus in often having pinnatisect or perforate leaves, and more numerous ovules. Differs from Amydrium in having abundant trichosclereids in all tissues.
    General Description
    HABIT : evergreen, usually climbing herbs, more rarely repent, often extremely robust, climbing branches often thick, producing anchor and feeder roots, flagelliform shoots also produced, stem often square in cross section. LEAVES : many, distichous, juvenile shingle plants occur in some species. PETIOLE : geniculate apically, sheath usually relatively long. BLADE : lanceolate or oblong, ± oblique, entire, perforate or pinnatifid to pinnatisect, often very large, lobes often subfalcately narrowed; primary lateral veins pinnate, running into marginal vein, often not differentiated from secondaries, secondary laterals ± parallel-pinnate, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : usually solitary, rarely more. PEDUNCLE : relatively short. SPATHE : boat-shaped, deciduous. SPADIX : subcylindric, conic, clavate, often extremely thick, sessile to stipitate, shorter than spathe. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigone absent. STAMENS : 4, filaments oblong-linear, anthers much shorter than filaments, connective slender, thecae ellipsoid, dehiscing by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : dicolpate, extended monosulcate to perhaps fully zonate, ellipsoid or hamburger-shaped, medium-sized (mean 33 µm., range 24-55 µm.), exine foveolate, subreticulate, rugulate, fossulate, scabrate, retiscabrate, verrucate, or psilate. GYNOECIUM : obconic-prismatic to oblong, truncate, ovary 1- to partially 2-locular, ovules few to many, anatropous, funicle long, placentae parietal to basal, sometimes ± subaxile, partial septa variably intrusive, stylar region well developed, usually broader than ovary, usually truncate apically, rarely elongate-conic, stigma broadly elliptic or oblong and then transverse or longitudinal, or punctate-prominent. BERRY : usually many-seeded, stylar region deciduous at maturity, red or yellow. SEED : oblong, testa thin, smooth, embryo axile, straight, endosperm copious.
    Subtropical and tropical humid or rain forest or deciduous forest; climbing hemiepiphytes, rarely rheophytic ( R. beccarii).



    Native to:

    Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caroline Is., Central African Repu, China South-Central, China Southeast, Congo, East Himalaya, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, India, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Malaya, Maldives, Maluku, Marianas, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Nigeria, Northern Territory, Philippines, Queensland, Samoa, Santa Cruz Is., Sierra Leone, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Zaïre

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Rhaphidophora Hassk. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Feb 23, 2007 Johns, R.J. [8763], Indonesia 64510.000
    Giles [PB 114], Malaysia 62915.000
    Sands, M. [1146], Papua New Guinea 51826.000
    Bogner [1738] 57528.000
    Johns, R.J. [10681], Indonesia 70000.087
    Boyce, P.C. [810], Vietnam 59451.000
    Boyce, P.C. [1262], Vietnam 63621.000
    Saw, L.G. [FRI44741], Malaysia K000501406
    Ng, Y.P. [NYP 53], Sabah 64777.000


    First published in Flora 25(2 Beibl. 1): 11 (1842)

    Accepted by

    • 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.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • F.T.A. 8: 199, as Raphidophora.
    • in Flora 25, 2, Beibl. 11 (1842)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Madison in Contr. Gray Herb. 207: 31 (1977)
    • Engl. & Krause in E.P. 37 (IV. 23B): 17 (1908)
    • in Flora 25(2), Beibl. 1: 11 (1842)


    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.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    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.