Homalomena Schott
  • H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher, Melet. Bot.: 20 (1832) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. & Subtrop. Asia, SW. Pacific, C. & S. Trop. America

General Description

HABIT : evergreen, usually aromatic (anise-scented) herbs, stem shortly aerial, more rarely arborescent or hypogeal. LEAVES : several, rarely distichous (H. geniculata, H. disticha). PETIOLE : rarely aculeate or pubescent, rarely geniculate apically (H. disticha), sheath usually less than half as long as petiole. BLADE : lanceolate or elliptic or oblong or subtriangular or cordate to sagittate, rarely peltate, usually glabrous, rarely pubescent on midrib and veins; primary lateral veins pinnate, running into marginal vein, secondary and tertiary lateral veins parallel-pinnate. INFLORESCENCE : 1-6 (or more) in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : shorter than petiole. SPATHE : erect, often becoming green, more rarely white or yellow-green or red, persistent, usually not constricted, ellipsoid to boat-shaped, more rarely constricted between tube and blade and then tube convolute, blade gaping at anthesis and afterwards closing. SPADIX : shorter or subequal to spathe, stipitate or sessile, female zone cylindric, male zone usually entirely fertile, contiguous with and longer than female zone, rarely bearing staminodes basally, or very rarely separated by a ± naked interstice. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 2-4-androus, rarely 5-6-androus, very rarely 1-androus (H. monandra), stamens free, truncate apically, filament absent or distinct, connective thick, thecae ovoid, ellipsoid or oblong, opening by longitudinal slit, rarely by transversal slit. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ellipsoid to oblong, small (mean 22 µm., range 12-31 µm.), exine perfectly psilate in most species, rarely obscurely fossulate. STERILE MALE FLOWERS : 2-4-androus, sometimes present at base of fertile male zone, staminodia subprismatic, somewhat rounded apically. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecium ovoid or oblong or subglobose, usually with single, anterior staminode (rarely 2, very rarely 3), equalling or half as long as ovary, sometimes absent (H. lindenii), ovary 2-4-(-5)-locular, ovules many, hemianatropous, funicle long, placenta axile to pseudoaxile, style shortly narrowed or absent, stigma discoid, subhemispheric, subcapitate or slightly 2-4-lobed. BERRY : obovoid or subglobose or cylindric, locules many-seeded, rarely few-seeded. SEED : ellipsoid or elongate ellipsoid, testa thick, distinctly or only slightly costate, embryo axile, elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Terrestrial, rarely rheophytic; usually aromatic (anise scented - Neotropics; variously of camphor, mango-skin; ginger, etc. - Asian tropics); petiole always pulvinate ca. 2/3 along length, rarely terminally at insertion of leaf blade - Asian tropics exc. Chamaecladon supergroup; leaf blade simple, lanceolate to sagittate, fine venation parallel-pinnate; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; stamens free. Differs from Furtadoa in male flowers consisting of 2-6 stamens without pistillodes, ovaries incompletely 2-5 locular and placentas parietal and axile. Differs from Philodendron mainly in shoot architecture, and in being always terrestrial, never climbing (but rhizome aften considerably elongated - 'geophilous climbers' - or epiphytic, endothecium with cell wall thickenings, presence (often) of staminodes in female zone and being mostly tropical Asian (except Homalomena sect. Curmeria ).


Tropical humid forest, swamp forest, rarely in open swamps; terrestrial in leaf litter on forest floor, along forest streams, on road banks, on well-drained slopes in moist forest, rarely rheophytes.


Trop. & Subtrop. Asia, SW. Pacific, C. & S. Trop. America.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Temperate China China South-Central
  • China Southeast
  • Hainan
  • Eastern Asia Taiwan
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent Assam
  • Bangladesh
  • East Himalaya
  • Indo-China Andaman Is.
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Nicobar Is.
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Malesia Borneo
  • Jawa
  • Lesser Sunda Is.
  • Malaya
  • Maluku
  • Philippines
  • Sulawesi
  • Sumatera
  • Papuasia Bismarck Archipelago
  • New Guinea
  • Solomon Is.
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Central America Costa Rica
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Western South America Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru

Included Species


  • 1 Boyce, P.C. & Wong, S.Y. (2009). Studies on Homalomeneae (Araceae) of Borneo IV: Homalomena specimens in the herbarium Beccarianum-Malesia (FI-B) of the Museo di Storia Naturale - Sezione Botanica "F.Parlatore" dell'Università di Firenze. Webbia; Raccolta de Scritti Botanici 64: 169-173.
  • 2 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.
  • 3 Gardens, K.""Royal Bot World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (2008).
  • 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
  • B   http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • C All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • 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; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • E See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.