Gymnostachys R.Br.
  • Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 337 (1810) 

Notes: Distribution: E. Australia

General Description

HABIT : acaulescent herbs, stem a short, thick subterranean rhizome. LEAVES : distichous, bifacial (dorsiventrally flattened), somewhat plicate, linear, not differentiated into blade and petiole, margins erose-serrate; midrib not differentiated, primary lateral veins parallel, somewhat prominent, higher order venation parallel. INFLORESCENCE : borne on a long scape, terminating in 3-6 (-7), short, perennating floral sympodia separated from each other by a distinct peduncular axis, each sympodium composed of several spadices and borne axillary to a leaf-like bract. SCAPE : subequal to leaves, alate on each side, margins erose-serrate. SPATHE : a simple, short, keeled, inconspicuous bract, ± alternating with the short, linear-lanceolate, 2-keeled prophylls of each article of the floral sympodium. SPADIX : short- to long-stipitate, cylindric, many-flowered, erect in flower, pendent in fruit. FLOWERS : bisexual, perigoniate, often somewhat distant; tepals 4, ± as long as wide, fornicate, imbricate. STAMENS : 4, filaments somewhat flattened, anthers short, connective slender, thecae ellipsoid, dehiscing by a longitudinal slit, connective inconspicuous. POLLEN : monosulcate, ellipsoid, medium-sized (mean 31 µm., range 30-33 µm.), exine foveolate to slightly fossulate, apertural exine fossulate-verrucate. GYNOECIUM : ovary oblong, 1-locular, ovule 1, orthotropous, funicle very short, placenta apical, style shortly attenuate, stigma small, subhemispheric. BERRY : ellipsoid, deep blue, apiculate, 1-seeded, strongly projecting beyond tepals. SEED : ellipsoid to obovoid, testa absent at maturity, embryo axile, ± elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Acaulescent herb with rhizomatous stem; leaf linear, bifacial, not differentiated into petiole and blade, midrib lacking, primary venation strictly parallel; inflorescence borne on a long scape, bearing numerous spadices distally, spathe inconspicuous; flowers bisexual, perigoniate, with 4 tepals.


Southern temperate to subtropical or rarely tropical rainforest; understorey plant in moist hardwood forests, most common on cool southerly slopes and in cool moist gullies.


E. Australia.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Australasia Australia New South Wales
  • Queensland

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
  • B
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C
  • D 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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