1. Family: Araceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Amorphophallus Blume ex Decne.
      1. Amorphophallus aphyllus (Hook.) Hutch.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tropical Africa to Chad.

    [FWTA]

    Araceae, F. N. Hepper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:1. 1968

    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence 6-12 in. high from a tuber 2 in. across
    Spathe
    Spathe dark red-purple
    Leaves
    Leaves produced after the inflorescence.
    [CATE]

    CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011. araceae.e-monocot.org

    Habitat
    A typical savannah dweller with a preference for sandy soils, also in tree savannah and dry forests
    Diagnostic
    Amorphophallus aphyllus is a very attractive species from the isolated Section Corynophallus. Unlike many other species in this group, it is easily recognisable by its leaf. The leaf develops elongate to lanceolate leaflets and can only be confused with the more northern A. dracontioides. Style present, Spadix enclosed by the spathe only [from the base] up to the appendix.
    General Description
    Tuber disciform, very flat, broadly elliptic (‘oval’) from above, 6-30 x 2-6 cm, sometimes angular, surface smooth, produces loosely dispersed small, cuneiform or globose offsets LEAF 50-110 cm tall, developing after the inflorescence. Petiole 30-90 x 1-2.5 cm, basally brown purple, becoming paler further up, then pale green, sometimes a bit spotted and stripey. Blade 30-80 cm in diameter, main and end segments usually only forked into two, rachis narrowly cuneiformly winged (‘schmal keilförmig geflügelt’); terminal leaflets elongate to lanceolate, 10-30 x 0.8-2 cm, without distinct tip, pale green, margin smooth. Cataphylls 3-4, the inner one longer than the peduncle, 10-20, 5-10, 2-3.5 and 1-1.5 cm long, light pink, veins darker, often with small greenish spots, membranous. INFLORESCENCE usually shortly to moderately stipitate, appearing before the leaf. Peduncle 5-12(-18) cm long, pale green, sometimes with small white spots, erect, solitary. Spathe 6-25 cm long; divided into a cylindrical-ovoid (‘oval’) to cylindrical tube and an open limb by a slight, assymetric constriction; appears fleshy. Tube cylindrical to ovoid (‘oval’), 3-10(-15) x 2-5 cm; whitish to cream or greenish on the outside; inside, basally smooth, whitish to cream background with broad, dark purple, longitudinal stripes, these attenuate cuneiformly towards the base (‘diese verjüngen sich basal keilförmig’). Open limb erect; somewhat bulging outward; 2-10 x 3-8 cm; bluntly and triangularly acute on one side; outside dark red brown, purple to blackish with scattered whitish spots or spots numerous and covering a larger area; inside [coloured] as the tube, with the purple longitudinal stripes widening towards the margin; margin usually smooth or slightly undulate. Spadix stipitate for 1 cm, 5-23 cm long, usually as long as the spathe, protruding from the tilted side of the limb. Pistillate zone slightly obconic, 0.8-3 x 0.7-1.5 cm, flowers congested. Staminate zone obconic, 1.1-4 x 1-3 cm, flowers congested. Appendix stout, wide, broadly elliptic (‘oval’) in cross section, shortly conical to rounded, 3-16 cm long, 2-4 cm in diameter at the base, 4-8 cm in diameter in the middle, black-purple, rugulose, with longitudinal furrows distributed across the whole surface, constricted basally. Staminodes rare in the basal zone of the appendix, as small, congested warts; sterile zone between pistillate and staminate zone absent; ratio of pistillate to staminate zone 0.5-0.8 : 1. Pistillate flowers 3-5 mm long; ovary elongate to ovoid, 1-2 x 1-1.5 mm, unilocular, pale green to green, style 1-2 mm long, clearly delimited from the ovary, dark green; stigma unlobed, circular from above, slightly conical from the side, 1 mm in diameter, papillose, whitish to cream. Staminate flowers 1-1.5 mm long; anthers free, unregularly cubic, light purple; filaments short, free, < 0.5 mm long; pores apical, two round pores visible per thecae; thecae cylindrical; connective broad, purple. INFRUCTESCENCE stalk 4-6 x longer than the peduncle, 20-50 cm long, 0.8-2 cm in diameter; infructescence stipitate for 1 cm, 4-6 x 3-6 cm, cylindrical to conical, often with the remains of the appendix and spathe. Berries elongate to ovoid (‘oval’), 0.6-1.6 x 0.3-0.6 cm, single seeded, yellow, often sterile; seeds elongate 0.8-0.6 x 0.4 cm, rough, cream. Pollen orange, echinate, 23.6-34.8 x 23.6-28.1tm, circular, inaperturate. Smell unknown.
    Distribution
    western part of Guinean-Congolese-Sudanese transition zone into the Sudanese Region
    [CATE]
    Use
    According to Hooker (1825) and Burkill (1985) the tubers are eaten in times of food shortages, but not without special treatment. In Senegal, the tubers are dried and then simmered until the pungent, bitter taste (Calcium-oxalate) has disappeared. In Burkina Faso (if it is A. aphyllus) the tubers are cooked in a mixture of plant parts and ashes; then, what is left over, is put in running water, for example a river, by which the bitterness is washed out. According to Kerharo & Bouquet (1950) and Neuwinger (1996), the toxicity of the raw tubers is used as additive in arrow poison; the foundation for the poison being the seeds of Strophanthus hispidus.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burkina, Central African Repu, Chad, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Amorphophallus aphyllus (Hook.) Hutch. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 11, 1995 Deighton, F.C. [5850], Sierra Leone K000452219
    Sep 11, 1995 Deighton, F.C. [5779], Sierra Leone K000452220
    Sep 11, 1995 Deighton, F.C. [2464], Sierra Leone K000452224
    Sep 11, 1995 Jones, T.S. [390], Sierra Leone K000452221
    Sep 11, 1995 Scott Elliot, G.F. [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000452223
    Sep 11, 1995 Scott Elliot, G.F. [7768], Sierra Leone K000452226 Unknown type material
    Sep 11, 1995 Masters [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000345946
    Sep 11, 1995 Masters [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000345947
    Sep 11, 1995 Masters [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000345978
    Sep 11, 1995 Thomas, N.W. [8697], Sierra Leone K000452225
    Sep 11, 1995 s.coll. [327], Guinea-Bissau K000452218
    Sep 11, 1995 Alves Pereira, J. [3092], Guinea-Bissau K000452217
    Sep 7, 1995 Thomas, N.W. [493], Sierra Leone K000452222
    Feb 2, 1995 Masters [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000345945

    First published in J.Hutchinson & J.M.Dalziel, Fl. W. Trop. Afr. 2: 362 (1936)

    Accepted by

    • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
    • Ittenbach, S. (2003). Revision der afrikanischen Arten de Gattung Amorphophallus (Araceae) Englera 25: 1-263.
    • 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.
    • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
    • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(2): 1-94. ORSTOM, Bangui.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Berhaut, Fl. Sén. 4, 11.
    • F.W.T.A., ed. 1, 2: 362 (1936)
    CATE Araceae
    • Ittenbach, S. 2003. Revision der afrikanischen Arten der Gattung Amorphophallus (Araceae). Englera. 25: 5-263
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(2): 1-94. ORSTOM, Bangui.

    Sources

    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, 17 Dec 2011.
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0