Anubias Schott
  • Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 7: 398 (1857) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. Africa

General Description

HABIT : evergreen herbs, rhizome thick, creeping, internodes short. LEAVES : several. PETIOLE : usually smooth, rarely shortly and sparsely spiny, geniculate apically, sheath relatively short. BLADE : lanceolate, ovate, elliptic, nearly triangular to subsagittate, subcordate, auriculate, hastate to trifid, mostly coriaceous, completely glabrous or midrib and primary lateral veins densely pilose abaxially; primary lateral veins pinnate, secondary lateral veins parallel-pinnate, tertiaries transverse between them. INFLORESCENCE : 1-3 in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : ± as long as petiole or shorter. SPATHE : elliptic-ovate or ovate, not constricted, only weakly differentiated into tube and blade, widely expanded at anthesis, but always slightly convolute at base, closing after anthesis and persistent to fruiting stage, uniformly coloured, mostly green or cream to reddish tinged, paler within. SPADIX : cylindric, shorter or sometimes much longer than spathe, female zone free, usually densely flowered, rarely somewhat laxly flowered, shorter than male and contiguous with it or rarely with few sterile or irregular, bisexual flowers in between, male zone fertile to apex. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-8-androus, stamens connate, synandrium ± obpyramidal, filaments connate, sometimes fairly long, fused connectives thick, fleshy, sometimes covered by thecae and inconspicuous, often only incompletely connate at apex, with shallow fissures in between, thecae lateral or marginal or covering nearly the whole synandrium from apex to base (A. pynaertii), dehiscing by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : inaperturate, subspheroidal to spherical, small (mean 24 µm., range 20-31 µm.), exine perfectly psilate to obscurely verrucate and/or dimpled. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecium depressed-globose to ovoid, ovary (1-)2-3-locular, ovules many per locule, anatropous, placenta axile, style narrower than ovary, stigma broad, discoid, green, pink or white. BERRY : depressed-globular to obovoid, green to pale green, many-seeded. SEED : small, irregularly ovoid to subcylindric, testa rough, thickish, embryo axile, elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Helophytic or rheophytic; petioles geniculate apically; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; placenta axile, ovules many per locule. Differs from Neotropical Dieffenbachia and Bognera in the female zone not adnate to the spadix and its tropical west and central African range. Differs from Homalomena in African range and in stamens of each male flower entirely connate into a distinct synandrium.


Tropical humid forest; helophytes or rheophytes, forest swamps, in rocky places along streams, sometimes completely submerged.


W. to S. Trop. Africa.


in Oest. Bot. Wochenbl. 7: 398 (1857); F.T.A. 8: 182; Engl., Pflanzenr. 4, 23 DC: 2 (1915).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa South Tropical Africa Angola
  • West Tropical Africa Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Cabinda
  • Cameroon
  • Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Gulf of Guinea Is.
  • Zaire


  • 1 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.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • 3 F.n. Hepper (1968) Araceae. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3(1)
  • 4 Gardens, K.""Royal Bot World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (2008).
  • 5 Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. The Genera of Araceae. (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: 1997).

 Information From

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, 14 Dec 2011 . 17 Dec 2011.
  • A All Rights Reserved
Flora of West Tropical Aftrica (FWTA)
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2004. eFloras: Iridaceae. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2013-08-02]
  • B All Rights Reserved
  • C
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • D All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • E Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • F See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.