Heteropsis Kunth
  • Enum. Pl. 3: 59 (1841) 

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

General Description

Trichosclereids absent. HABIT : evergreen climbing herbs with woody-fibrous roots. LEAVES : numerous. PETIOLE : usually very short, entirely geniculate, concave and somewhat flattened, sheath adnate to subtended internode, rarely petiole free with long sheath (e.g. H. melinonii). BLADE : oblong, elliptic or lanceolate, ± long-cuspidate, subcoriaceous; primary lateral veins pinnate, forming a submarginal collective vein very close to margin, 1(-2) marginal veins also present, secondary laterals ± parallel to primaries, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, subtended by several small cataphylls, borne terminally on free, axillary branches. PEDUNCLE : very short. SPATHE : ovate-elliptic to ovate-oblong, cuspidate, convolute, opening at anthesis, then caducous. SPADIX : erect, free, stipitate, shorter than spathe, cylindric or ellipsoid. FLOWERS : bisexual, or lowermost flowers female by abortion of stamens, perigone absent. STAMENS : 4 or fewer by abortion, free, filaments short, flattened, rather broad, connective slender, thecae ovate-ellipsoid, overtopping connective a little, dehiscing by apical slit. POLLEN : zonate or dicolpate, ellipsoid-oblong or hamburger-shaped, medium-sized (mean 40 µm., range 37-42 µm.), exine foveolate or foveolate-fossulate, apertural exine psilate. GYNOECIUM : obpyramidal-prismatic, truncate, ovary 2-locular with conspicuous interseptal aperture, ovules 2 per locule, anatropous, collateral, placenta axile at base of septa, stylar region dense and thickened, broader than ovary, stigma very small, ellipsoid, oblong or subhemispheric. BERRY : shortly obovoid or obpyramidal, ± prismatic, stylar region forming a ± broad, flattened scar-like structure, 1-4 seeded, orange or greenish-white with brown apex. SEED : obovoid to ellipsoid, testa thin, smooth, black, shiny, embryo large, endosperm absent.

Diagnostic Description

Climbing hemiepiphytes with distichous leaves; trichosclereids not present in any tissues; petiole usually very short, entirely geniculate and with non-annular insertion; leaf blade simple, oblong to lanceolate, primary lateral veins forming distinct submarginal collective vein, fine venation reticulate; inflorescence solitary, terminal on free axillary branches; flowers bisexual, perigone absent.


Tropical moist and humid forest; climbing hemiepiphytes, sometimes on rocks.


C. & S. Trop. America.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil South
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Central America Costa Rica
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • 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 M. Soares, L., Mayo, S.J. & Gribel, R. A Preliminary Taxonomic Revision of Heteropsis (Araceae). Systematic Botany; Quarterly Journal of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists 38, 974 (2013).
  • 4 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.
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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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