Spathicarpa Hook.
  • Bot. Misc. 2: 146 (1831) 

Notes: Distribution: S. Trop. America

General Description

HABIT : small, seasonally dormant, sometimes evergreen herbs, tuber subterranean, rhizomatous, shortly oblong, horizontal. LEAVES : several. PETIOLE : slender, sheath often rather long. BLADE : narrowly elliptic, oblong, ovate-emarginate, ovate-cordate, cordate, cordate-sagittate, auriculate-hastate or strongly hastate to subtrisect; basal ribs short when present, primary lateral veins pinnate or mostly arising at petiole insertion, arcuate and running into margin or forming an irregular, submarginal collective vein, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing with leaves. PEDUNCLE : relatively long, slender. SPATHE : not constricted, oblong-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, acuminate, fully expanded to subrevolute at anthesis, later closing, persistent, green. SPADIX : entirely adnate to spathe, recurved at anthesis, fertile to apex, ± laxly flowered, female flowers forming 2 outer longitudinal rows, enclosing 2 rows of male flowers, all in parallel. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-4-androus, stamens connate, synandrium stipitate, apex formed by nectariferous, usually shallowly lobed stigmatoid-connective, anthers short, partly covered and overtopped by stigmatoid-connective, thecae 6-8, broadly ellipsoid, lateral, dehiscing by subapical pore. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ellipsoid-oblong to -elongate, medium-sized (mean 48 µm., range 45-51 µm.), exine almost perfectly psilate. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecium partially surrounded on one side by 3 small, very shortly stipitate, discoid-umbonate, green staminodes, ovary oblong-ovoid, 1-locular, ovule 1, orthotropous, funicle very short to ± absent, placenta basal, style attenuate, cylindric-conoid, stigma discoid-subcapitate. BERRY : ovoid to ellipsoid, acute-attenuate, green. SEED : ovoid-obnapiform, strophiolate, testa smooth to ± rough, brownish to green, embryo axile, elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Small seasonally dormant geophytes; spadix entirely adnate to spathe; leaf blade elliptic to hastate, fine venation reticulate; inflorescence solitary, appearing with leaves; spadix entirely fused with spathe, fertile to apex, with 2 central rows of male flowers and 2 outer rows of female flowers; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; male flower a stalked synandrium; female flower with three small staminodes. Differs from Spathantheum in 1- locular ovary and leaf blade never pinnatifid.


Tropical dry forest, humid and marshy forest, seasonally wet places; geophytes; in dry forest areas the plant has a dormant period and starts growth at the beginning of the rainy season.


S. Trop. America.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil South
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Southern South America Argentina Northeast
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • 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
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • B All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C 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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