Scaphispatha Brongn. ex Schott
  • Prodr. Syst. Aroid.: 214 (1860) 

Notes: Distribution: Bolivia to Brazil

General Description

HABIT : seasonally dormant herbs, tuber globose to depressed-globose. LEAVES : usually solitary, sometimes 2. PETIOLE : slender, sheath very short. BLADE : ovate-subcordate to ovate-sagittate, peltate, apex cuspidate-acuminate; basal ribs well-developed, primary lateral veins pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein, 1-2 marginal veins also present, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing well before leaf. PEDUNCLE : very long, slender. SPATHE : decurrent on peduncle, slightly constricted between tube and blade, light green without, white within, tube convolute before and after anthesis, gaping at anthesis, persistent to fruiting stage, blade fully expanded at anthesis, at first erect, later reflexed, marcescent after anthesis. SPADIX : cylindric, hardly constricted, shorter than spathe, fertile to apex, densely flowered, male and female zones contiguous. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 4-androus, stamens connate into truncate, deeply lobed synandrium, connective not greatly thickened, thecae lateral on upper part of synandrium, dehiscing apically by broad, pore-like slit. POLLEN : inaperturate, spherical to subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean 45 µm.) exine coarsely verrucate with large polygonal flat-topped verrucae. FEMALE FLOWER : ovary ovoid, 1-locular, ovules 3-5, anatropous, funicle short, placenta basal, style distinct, attenuate, much narrower than ovary, stigma small, discoid-subcapitate, only slightly broader than style. BERRY : subglobose to obovoid, always 1-seeded, stigma remnants persistent, fruiting very rapidly (ca.10 days after anthesis), whitish-grey. SEED : subglobose, testa smooth and thin, greyish to brown, covered with minute brownish spots, raphe pronounced, swollen, embryo elongate, straight, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Small, seasonally dormant, tuberous geophytes; leaves 1-2; leaf blade peltate, cordate-sagittate, with submarginal collective vein, fine venation reticulate; peduncle long, slender; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; stamens connate into synandrium; spathe blade marcescent after flowering; spadix fertile to apex. Differs from Caladium in having the spathe tube gaping widely at anthesis; the style much narrower than the ovary, lacking male and female zones contiguous without sterile flowers in between, placenta 1, basal, solitary seeds.


Tropical seasonal and dry forest, open woodland; geophytes, temporarily wet places, flowering at beginning of rainy season after first rains.


Bolivia to Brazil.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Western South America Bolivia


  • 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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