1. Family: Araceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Amorphophallus Blume ex Decne.
      1. Amorphophallus zenkeri (Engl.) N.E.Br.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to Cameroon, Bioko.


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

    Guineo-Congolese region: Endemic on Fernando Po. ; from South-Nigeria to Cameroon.
    General Description
    Tuber flat globose, 2-6 x 1.5-4 cm, deep below ground. LEAF solitary; 35-140 cm high; emerging before the inflorescence, but around until flowering, dies off quickly after flowering. Petiole 30-130 cm long, 2-3 cm in diameter; surface rough; greenish; appears mottled with numerous white green to dark green, elongate to elliptic or irregularly shaped spots; basally with a blueish wax coat and the spots reddish to purple (mimicking Lichen and blue algae; compare Barthlott 1992). Blade 37-100 cm in diameter, lateral main segments less divided than the central segment; rachis usually narrowly winged to the first branching, winged distinctly broader from the second branching. Terminal leaflets relatively large in relation to the entire leaf, 3.5-20 x 2.5-7 cm (17-31 cm x 7-11 cm, elongate, broadly elliptic ('oval') or very broadly elliptic ('breit oval'), attenuating into a 2-3 cm long tip, subsp. mannii), elongate to broadly elliptic ('oval') , or elongate to elliptic, ending in a distinctly delimited tip, this 1-2.5 cm long, mid green, margin smooth to slightly undulate. Cataphylls 3; 8-12, 3-8, 1-5 cm long; the inner one longer than the peduncle; transparent; outside greenish to pink with pale green to light purple, broadly elliptic ('oval') to circular spots; inside whitish. INFLORESCENCE solitary, emerging after the leaf and withering ± simultaneously with the leaf. 30-65 cm high. Peduncle below ground for a third of its length, 3-8 cm long, 0.7-2 cm in diameter greenish with dark green, small spots and bigger, brownish spots. Spathe (6-)8-24 x (9-)11-26 cm, divided by a weak constriction into a globose to ovoid ('oval') tube and an open limb; the constriction marks a broad and inclined opening. Open limb tilted erect, horizontal or hanging down, attenuates triangularly on one side (nearly coronate , subsp. mannii); margin folded to undulate; inside glossy purple; outside purple, basally turning whitish to greenish, with small dark green and brownish spots. Tube broadly assymetric, globose to ovoid ('oval'), outside smooth, greenish, pink to purple, with circular, pale green spots, veins green; inside basally (three quarters of the tube) dark purple, with 0.5-2 mm long, hair-like emergences, these apically turning somewhat light purple; a smooth, whitish to pale green band between the hairy zone and the constriction. Spadix sessile, (12-)25-60 cm long, at least twice as long as the spathe. Pistillate zone cylindrical, 1.5-2.5 x 1.4-2.4 cm, flowers congested into tight packs ± without gaps. Staminate zone obconic (may appear cylindrical in extremely small inflorescences), 2-3 x 1-3.3 cm, flowers very congested. Appendix elongate-conical, (8-)23-55 cm long, 1.7-5 cm in diameter at the base, basally constricted, densely covered in elongate and small 'wrinkles' (warts) as well as small depressions, greenish to purple brown, gradually attenuating and ending with a rounded point, hollow inside. Staminodes absent; sterile zone between pistillate and staminate zone 0-0.5 cm wide; ratio of pistillate to staminate zone 0.75-0.83 : 1 (1 : 1, subsp. mannii). Pistillate flowers 3 mm long; ovary ± cubical (or globose to ovoid ('oval') , subsp. mannii), 1.5-2.5 x 2-2.8 mm, bi(-tri)-locular, yellow green to green, apically red brown due to numerous small red purple dots; stigma sessile to subsessile, globose to ovoid ('oval') ; 0.5-1 x 1.5-2.3 mm, bi(-tri)-lobed (or unlobed, discoid, subsp. mannii), lobes flatt and rounded, whitish to grey with a purple to brown corona ('Kranz'); style 0-0.3 mm long, red purple to red brown. Staminate flowers with 4 stamens; filament 0.3-1 mm long, basally somewhat fused; anthers 1-2 x 1.9-2.2 mm, cubical, cream or yellowish to orange; pores apical, globose, one per theca; connective channelled, dark brown. Pollen inaperturate, yellow orange, exine smooth (psilate). INFRUCTESCENCE not known. Smell of prawns and crabs.
    A. zenkeri characterized by the simultaneous appearing of the leaf and the inflorescence. This is an unusual life cycle in African species and only known also in A. angolensis. Usually the inflorescence develops first after a dormancy period, and the tuber develops a leaf after flowering. Usually the leaf shoots are already visible at the time of flowering; in A. johnsonii, the shoots already pearce through the surface of the soil during flowering. Basal inner side of the spathe with hair-like emergences; Appendix at least 1 ½ times longer than the spathe.

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

    Spathe purple or purplish with white streaks inside and outside; pale and green spotted outside towards the base
    Spadix pale purple.


    Native to:

    Cameroon, Gulf of Guinea Is., Nigeria

    Amorphophallus zenkeri (Engl.) N.E.Br. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1994 Cable, S. [500], Cameroon K000461193
    Jan 1, 1994 Cable, S. [470], Cameroon K000461194
    Lane, P. [169], Cameroon 29047.866

    First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 8: 159 (1901)

    Accepted by

    • 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.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Engl. Pflanzenr. 4, 23C: 100. (1911)
    • in F.T.A. 8: 159 (1901)
    CATE Araceae
    • Ittenbach, S. 2003. Revision der afrikanischen Arten der Gattung Amorphophallus (Araceae). Englera. 25: 5-263


    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.

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    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.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. 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 2020. 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