Protarum Engl.
  • Beibl. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 67: 42 (1901) 

Notes: Distribution: Seychelles

General Description

HABIT : seasonally (?irregularly) dormant herbs, tuber subglobose, with numerous, very densely arranged, annular leaf scars. LEAF : solitary. PETIOLE : long, sheath short. BLADE : pedatisect to radiatisect, almost radiate, leaflets shortly stalked, elliptic to narrowly elliptic, acuminate; primary lateral veins of lobes pinnate, numerous, forming submarginal collective vein, 2 marginal veins also present, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing with or without leaves. PEDUNCLE : short, much shorter than petiole. SPATHE : slightly constricted between tube and blade, tube convolute, shorter than blade, blade erect, boat-shaped, marcescent. SPADIX : much shorter than spathe, female zone conoid, separated from male zone by more slender sterile zone covered with narrowly elongated synandrodes or partly naked, male zone ± cylindric to obconic, terminal sterile appendix thicker, digitiform, obtuse, ± smooth. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : synandrium 3-6-androus, sessile, subprismatic, ± excavated centrally, fused connectives broad, margins lobed, thecae broadly ellipsoid to subglobose, dehiscing by broad apical slit. POLLEN : inaperturate, ellipsoid, small (21 µm., range 20-22 µm.), exine striate. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecium ovoid to ellipsoid, surrounded by whorl of 4-6, free, ± imbricate, thickish, oblong, subprismatic staminodes, ovary ovoid to ellipsoid, 1-locular, ovules 4, hemiorthotropous, micropyle elongate, funicle short, placenta basal, style shortly attenuate, stigma 2-4-lobed, much broader than style. BERRY : ± ellipsoid to obovoid, with persistent stigma remnant, usually 1-seeded, orange, infructescence enclosed by persistent and much enlarged spathe tube. SEED : ellipsoid-oblong, testa costate, dark brown, embryo small, flattened and disc-like, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Tuberous geophytes; leaves solitary; leaf blade pedatisect to radiatisect, lobes narrowly elliptic, submarginal collective vein present, fine venation reticulate; spadix with thick terminal sterile appendix; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; male flower a subprismatic synandrium; gynoecium surrounded by 4-6 free, subprismatic staminodes. Differs from Colocasia and Alocasia in leaf shape and staminodes in female flowers.


Tropical (palm) forest, moss forest; geophytes, forest floor, leaf litter in rock crevices, often on large granitic rocks.



Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Western Indian Ocean Seychelles

Included Species


  • 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 Gardens, K.""Royal Bot World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (2008).
  • 3 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
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • B 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
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