Skip to main content
  1. Family: Araceae Juss.
    1. Typhonium Schott

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Mongolia to Tropical Asia and Australia.


    CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

    Very small to medium-sized seasonally dormant or evergreen geophytes; leaf blade linear-lanceolate to sagittate, hastate or pedatifid, fine venation reticulate; inflorescence appearing with leaves; spathe with constriction, tube sometimes with connate margins; spadix male and female zones widely separated by zone bearing sterile flowers and often partially naked; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; placentation basal.
    Warm temperate, subtropical and tropical humid and seasonal forests, secondary forest, cultivated land; geophytes, forest floor, among rocks, wet sites, streamsides, grassy places.
    Trop. Africa, Arabian Pen. to Mongolia and Australia.
    General Description
    HABIT : very small to medium-sized, seasonally dormant or evergreen, rarely pubescent ( T. hirsutum) or glandular-pubescent herbs, tuber globose, subglobose or irregular, sometimes rhizomatous or stoloniferous, rarely an epigeal stem ( T. fultum). LEAVES : few to several. PETIOLE : apex and middle portion rarely tuberculate, sheath rather short. BLADE : usually cordate-sagittate, sagittate to hastate, trifid, pedatifid or pedatisect, rarely linear, narrowly lanceolate, elliptic-oblong or cordate, apex rarely tuberculate; primary lateral veins of blade or lobes pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein, 1-2 marginal veins also present, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing with or without ( T. hayatae) or after the leaves. PEDUNCLE : shorter than petiole. SPATHE : constricted between tube and blade, tube with convolute or rarely basally connate ( T. hirsutum) margins, persistent or rarely evanescent ( T. nudibaccatum), blade eventually bending backwards from constriction, broadly ovate to lanceolate, ± acuminate, usually purple, rarely white within, tube persistent, blade marcescent. SPADIX : sessile, shorter, subequal to or much longer than spathe, female zone cylindric, subconic to subglobose, separated from male zone by rather long axis covered either entirely or only in basal part with sterile flowers of various shapes, rarely with sterile flowers above male flowers, male zone cylindric to ellipsoid, usually densely but rarely sparsely flowered ( T. albispathum), appendix usually shortly stipitate, rarely with disc-like extension at the base or not stipitate at all ( T. hirsutum), smooth, conoid to extremely slender, filiform-subulate, usually long-exserted. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 1-3-androus but usually 1-androus, sometimes 2-3-androus and ± connate, anthers subsessile, connective slender, sometimes prominulent, thecae ovoid to ellipsoid, dehiscing by pore or lateral slit extending to the middle or nearly to the base and confluent apically. STERILE FLOWERS : either all similar or diverse in the same spadix, capitate, clavate to spathulate, cylindric, filiform or subulate, rarely stout and flattened at the tip, or reduced to verrucae, straight to flexuose, suberect, spreading or decurved. POLLEN : extruded in amorphous mass, inaperturate, spherical to subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean 32 µm., range 28-36 µm.), exine spinose (spines very obtuse in e.g. T. trilobatum). FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecia oriented horizontally or vertically, ovary ovoid, ellipsoid or obovoid, 1-locular, ovules 1-3, orthotropous, funicle short, placenta basal, stigma sessile, discoid-hemispheric, facing upwards or sideways. BERRY : ovoid, 1- or rarely 2-seeded, orange-red, green or white. SEED : globose to obnapiform, testa thin, rugulose to smooth, strophiolate, embryo axile, elongate, straight, endosperm copious.



    Native to:

    Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Hainan, India, Inner Mongolia, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Guinea, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Ogasawara-shoto, Philippines, Queensland, South China Sea, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Western Australia

    Introduced into:

    Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Caroline Is., Comoros, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Marianas, Mauritius, Tanzania, Trinidad-Tobago, Windward Is.

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Typhonium Schott appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status


    First published in Wiener Z. Kunst 3: 72 (1829)

    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.


    CATE Araceae

    • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.


    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.

    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.