Helicodiceros Schott
  • Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 3: 369 (1853) 

Notes: , nom. cons. Distribution: WC. Medit.

General Description

HABIT : seasonally dormant herbs, tuber depressed-globose. LEAVES : several. PETIOLE : variously spotted, sheath long, forming loose pseudostem. BLADE : deeply pedatifid, anterior division oblong, lobes of posterior divisions tightly spiralled on basal ribs and thus held ± erect; primary lateral veins of each lobe pinnate, weakly differentiated, forming submarginal collective vein, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing with leaves. PEDUNCLE : much shorter than petiole. SPATHE : spotted on outer surface, constricted between tube and blade, tube with convolute margins, erect, green, thick, subcylindric, blade sharply bent backwards at constriction, large, oblong-ovate, widely spreading, pale purple, inner surface covered with long, purple hairs. SPADIX : shorter than spathe, bent backwards at spathe constriction, female zone sessile to shortly stipitate, subcylindric, sterile zone separating male and female zones short, covered with subulate pistillodes or naked, male zone subcylindric to ellipsoid, shorter than or subequal to female, appendix vermiform, much longer than rest of spadix, weakly stipitate, thicker at middle, attenuate towards apex and base, ± lying on spathe blade, entirely covered with upwardly curved, setiform staminodial processes becoming gradually larger and subulate towards appendix base. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 2-3-androus, anthers sessile, connective slender, inconspicuous, thecae ± ellipsoid, dehiscing by broad apical slit. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ± spherical, exine spinose. FEMALE FLOWER : ovary 1-locular, ovules up to 6, orthotropous, placentae 2, apical placenta with 3-4 ovules and basal placenta with 1-2 ovules, stylar region as broad or broader than ovary, stigma subhemispheric. BERRY : obovoid to ellipsoid, bearing small stigma remnant, (1-)2-3-seeded, orange. SEED : borne on either one or both placentae, broadly ovoid, with yellowish strophiole, testa leathery, strongly reticulate, pale brown when fresh, embryo axile, elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Seasonally dormant tuberous geophytes; leaf blade with reticulate fine venation; spathe inner surface covered with hairs; flowers unisexual, without perigone. Differs from Theriophonum and Dracunculus in the spadix appendix covered with subulate to bristle-like sterile flowers and pedatifid leaf blades with lobes twisting upwards on each side and held erect. Further differs from Dracunculus in the spadix male zone separated from female zone by subulate to filiform sterile organs.


Warm temperate habitats; geophytes, in limestone and granite rock crevices beside the sea, rarely on stony ground.


WC. Medit.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Europe Southwestern Europe Baleares
  • Corse
  • Sardegna


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