Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to Zimbabwe.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Aponogetonaceae, K.A. Lye (Agricultural University of Norway). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Plants monoecious.
Vegetative Multiplication Tubers
Tuber oval to elongate or cylindrical, 10–25 mm. long and ±15 mm. thick, the upper part with numerous whitish roots.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves few–many (often 3–15 per plant); petiole usually 5–20 cm. long; blades 2–8 cm. long and 3–16 mm. wide, oval to linear-oblong, with 5–7 parallel main nerves, cuneate to truncate base and blunt or subacute tip, more rarely the blades have a long attenuate base and are then not well separated from the petiole.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers mauve to lilac, densely set in unbranched spikes and facing in all directions; peduncle greenish, but often white to mauve below, dull maroon to brown above, 5–30 cm. long (depending on the depth of the water) and 0.5–2.5 mm. thick; mature spathe not seen, very early caducous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Spike 6–30 mm. long and 5–10 mm. wide, 10–30-flowered, sometimes elongating to 40 mm. long when fruiting.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Tepal
Tepals 2, purple or mauve, obovate or spathulate, 2–6 mm. long and 1–1.4 mm. wide, 1-nerved, long-persistent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 6 or 1 or lacking in apomictic specimens; filaments 1.5–3 mm. long, purple, thickened towards the base; anthers yellow to dark brown, 0.3–0.7 mm. long, the connective sometimes with a flattened conical protuberance ± 1 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovaries 3–8, mauve, with 2–9 ovules.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Follicles greenish, 3.5–6 mm. long and ±1.5 mm. wide including a ± 1.5 mm. long narrow beak which is often dark purple at the tip.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds narrowly oblong-lanceolate to cylindrical, often slightly curved, 1–2 mm. long and ± 0.5 mm. wide, with a double testa, longitudinally ridged or winged, at maturity almost blackish.

Native to:

Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Aponogeton afroviolaceus Lye appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Feb 6, 1985 Lye, K.A. [6348], Kenya K000346039 isotype
May 12, 1986 Faden, R.B. [67312], Kenya Aponogeton afroviolaceus var. angustifolius K000211091

First published in Bot. Not. 129: 68 (1976)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • Lye, K.A. (1989). Aponogetonaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-10.
  • Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds.) (2004). A Checklist of Zimbabwean Vascular Plants: 1-148. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network (SABONET), Pretoria.
  • Timberlake, J.R. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2009). Flora Zambesiaca 12(2): 1-208. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • H. Bruggen in Bibl. Bot. 33, 137: 50 (1985).
  • Lye in Bot. Notis. 129: 68 (1976).

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.