Urospatha Schott
  • Aroideae: 3, t. 7 (1853) 

Notes: Distribution: C. & S. Trop. America

General Description

HABIT : robust to slender evergreen herbs, solitary to clump-forming, rhizome subterranean, horizontal or vertical, spongy. LEAVES : few, basal, ± erect. PETIOLE : long, spongy, sheathed only at base, smooth or scabrid-verrucose, sometimes angled, often variegated, apical geniculum absent or only very weakly developed, sheath long to short. BLADE : deeply sagittate or subtripartite to hastate, posterior divisions usually longer than anterior division, rarely blade lanceolate-linear and lacking posterior divisions (U. wurdackii); basal ribs well-developed, primary lateral veins of both anterior and posterior divisions pinnate, long-arcuate towards division apex and running into marginal vein, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, rarely 2 in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : equal to or longer than leaf, similar in appearance to petiole. SPATHE : erect, persistent, convolute below, gaping above, apically long-acuminate, usually spirally twisted, sometimes flattened. SPADIX : shortly stipitate or sessile, usually much shorter than spathe, cylindric to subcylindric, obtuse. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigoniate; tepals 4-6, fornicate. STAMENS : 4-6, filaments free, broadish, a little compressed, connective slender, thecae ellipsoid, dehiscing by apical slit. POLLEN : monosulcate, ellipsoid, medium-sized (mean 26 µm., range 25-28 µm.), exine subreticulate, subrugulate to reticulate, apertural exine psilate. GYNOECIUM : ovoid, ovary 1-2-locular, ovules (1-)2-4 or more per locule, anatropous, placenta axile in 2-locular ovaries, basal in 1-locular ovaries, stylar region a little narrower than ovary, stigma broad, circular, discoid. BERRY : obovoid, 1-5(-8)-seeded, green to greenish yellow. SEED : curved, testa hard, brown, thickish, strongly warty, or spiny or crested, embryo curved, endosperm present but only as a very thin layer about 2 cells thick.

Diagnostic Description

Slender to robust, evergreen helophytes with vertical or horizontal rhizome; petiole smooth to scabrid, never prickled; leaf blades deeply sagittate, trisect to hastate, very rarely linear-lanceolate, fine venation reticulate; flowers bisexual, perigoniate; seed curved, testa warty, spiny or crested. Differs from Dracontioides in leaf blade never fenestrate, spathe lanceolate, very long-acuminate and usually spirally twisted towards apex , ovary locules with (1-)2 to several ovules.


Tropical humid forest and wetlands; helophytes, open aquatic habitats, swamps, along streams, brackish water.


C. & S. Trop. America.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Central America Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Southern South America Paraguay
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru


  • 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 http://e-monocot.org.
  • 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; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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