1. Family: Araceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Sauromatum Schott
      1. Sauromatum venosum (Dryand. ex Aiton) Kunth

        Native to upland areas of Africa and Asia, voodoo lily has flowers that emit a foul smell resembling rotting meat. This odour attracts insect pollinators such as flies. Despite its putrid smell, voodoo lily is popularly cultivated as an ornamental. Its popularity is due in part to it being one of the easiest aroids to propagate and one of the hardest to kill.

    [CATE]

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

    General Description
    Tuber depressed globose, to ca. 9cm high and ca. 15cm in diam., producing numerous annual offsets, these globose or depressed globose. Petiole yellowish green, with rounded purplish brown spots, 20–100cm; leaf blade 9–11-pedatifid; central lobe oblong or oblong-elliptic to oblanceolate, 10–40 × 4–20cm, acuminate; lateral leaflets elliptic, gradually smaller toward distal end of rachis. Inflorescence appearing before leaves; peduncle greenish white, with or without a few brown spots, 3–7cm, sometimes elongating during fruiting. Spathe base outside dull dark violet, inside rich reddish purple, ellipsoid, 5–10 × 2–4cm; limb convolute at base, ca. 10cm, distally outside as base but slightly darker and with a few violet longitudinal stripes, inside background color yellowish, almost entirely covered by numerous orbicular to elliptic, confluent dark purple spots, lanceolate, 30–70 × 8–10cm, apex acuminate. Spadix slightly shorter than or as long as spathe; female zone subcylindric, 2–2.5 × 1–1.5cm; ovary violet or pale purple, obovoid, 2–4-ovuled; sterile zone 8–8.5cm, proximal 2–2.5cm sparsely covered with long staminodes, distally grooved and with a few distant conic projections, proximally whitish, distally pale brownish violet; staminodes yellow, clavate, 4–10mm; male zone 1–2 × 1–1.5cm; stamens yellow; appendix at first erect, finally recurved, pale brown to pale violet or lead-colored, terete, to30 cm, ca. 1cm in diam. at base, obtuse. Fruiting zone globose or subcylindric, naked, to ca. 9cm in diam.; berries crowded, bright purple, cylindric, 5–10 × 2–4mm, angulate, apex truncate.
    Phenology
    Fl. Apr–May, fr. Jul.
    Habitat
    Primary evergreen forests, meadows by rivers, secondary thickets, path sides.
    Vernacular
    ban long yu
    Distribution
    China [Xizang, Yunnan], Bhutan, NE and NW India, Myanmar, Nepal, Africa.
    [FTEA]

    Araceae, S.J. Mayo. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

    Habit
    Tuber depressed-globose, 4–10 cm. in diameter.
    Leaves
    Petiole terete, up to 90 cm. long, green, often black-purple spotted or tinged brownish purple; blade kidney-shaped to subcircular in outline, 25–60 cm. broad, pedately-lobed; lobes 7–11, ovate-elliptic, acuminate, cuneate, deeply divided almost to base; central lobe usually obovate-elliptic, 12–30 cm. long, 5–16 cm. broad; lateral lobes progressively smaller.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence appearing before leaves, with very strong carrion smell at anthesis, subtended by several oblong-lanceolate cataphylls; peduncle short, 2–8 cm. when in flower, subterranean, spathe borne at or partly below ground-level.
    Spathe
    Spathe 25–50 cm. long; tube subcylindric with inflated ellipsoid basal part, 5–10 cm. long, 2–5 cm. in diameter, erect, outside dull purplish green, inside reddish purple, smooth; limb narrowly lanceolate-triangular, 20–40 cm. long, 3–9 cm. broad, reflexing and twisting spirally at maturity, inner surface pale yellow to pale green with numerous dark maroon-purple oblong to subcircular spots that are smaller towards base and merge near crisped-undulate margins.
    Spadix
    Spadix 20–42 cm. long; sterile appendix cylindric, 14–30 cm. long, 0.5–1.6 cm. in diameter, erect at first, later curving forward, smooth, dull greyish green with cream base; staminate part cylindric, 1–1.7 cm. long, 0.5–1.5 cm. in diameter, sulphur yellow; sterile zone with cylindric, longitudinally ridged axis, 3.5–8 cm. long, 0.3–1.2 cm. in diameter, cream becoming purple apically, lowermost 1.5–2 cm. bearing 0.5–0.8 cm. long, horizontal to upward-curving, filiform to clavate, cream, sterile projections, with bluish-green, ± swollen tips; pistillate part cylindric to subconic, 0.7–1.6 cm. long, 0.6–1.4 cm. in diameter.
    Ovary
    Ovary flask-shaped to cylindric, dark reddish-purple; ovules 1–2, pear-shaped, borne on massive basal placental cushion; stigma capitate, cream, 0.5 mm. in diameter.
    Fruits
    Berries obovate, 0.9–1 cm. long, ± 0.8 cm. in diameter, 1–2-seeded, mulberry purple to red, borne at or partly below ground-level in tight subglobose head up to 4 cm. in diameter.
    Seeds
    Seed obovate, 0.7–0.8 cm. long, 0.45–0.55 cm. in diameter; testa fleshy, dark spotted; embryo small, central, cylindric; endosperm copious.
    Figures
    Fig. 15.
    Habitat
    In shade, damp woodlands, riverine forest, plantations and copses in upland grassland, damp upland cultivated land; 1000–2100 m.
    Distribution
    K3 K5 T1 T2 T4 T7 T8 U1
    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description

    Native to upland areas of Africa and Asia, voodoo lily has flowers that emit a foul smell resembling rotting meat. This odour attracts insect pollinators such as flies. Despite its putrid smell, voodoo lily is popularly cultivated as an ornamental. Its popularity is due in part to it being one of the easiest aroids to propagate and one of the hardest to kill.

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Widely distributed from tropical Africa to China, voodoo lily is reported to occur in various habitats including evergreen forest, riverine forest and wet savannah, mostly in damp or wet areas in the shade.

    Description

    Overview: A tuberous perennial with a large, umbrella-like leaf on a brownish-red speckled petiole (leaf stalk) that appears after flowering.

    Flowers: The flowering parts consist of a spathe (hood-like structure) wrapped around a spadix (flower-bearing spike). The large, twisting spathe (up to 1 m long) is yellow to brown with reddish-purple spots. The purple spadix is slightly shorter or the same size as the spathe.

    Fruits: Red to bright purple berries.

    Conservation assessments carried out at Kew

    Sauromatum venosum is being monitored as part of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants, which aims to produce conservation assessments for a representative sample of the world's plant species. This information will then be used to monitor trends in extinction risk and help focus conservation efforts where they are needed most.

    Uses

    Voodoo lily is cultivated as an ornamental. The tubers can be grown indoors as a curiosity; they can flower without soil or water, although the tuber should be planted and fed immediately after flowering if it is to be kept alive.

    The roasted tubers of Sauromatum venosum are eaten locally.

    This species at Kew

    Sauromatum venosum is grown behind-the-scenes in Kew's Tropical Nursery.

    Dried and alcohol-preserved specimens of Sauromatum venosum are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers by appointment. The details of some of these can be seen online in Kew's Herbarium Catalogue.

    Distribution
    China
    Ecology
    Primary evergreen forests, meadows by rivers, secondary thickets and along the sides of paths.
    Conservation
    Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.
    Hazards

    Intense irritation can be experienced when handling or consuming raw plant material of many members of Araceae (aroid plant family).

    [FWTA]

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

    Habit
    A geophyte with a, perennial tuber from which arises the short peduncle and purple-spotted spathe and later the single taller petiole with divided lamina 1-2 ft. across
    Fruits
    Fruits bright red
    Ecology
    In shady places in upland.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central African Repu, China South-Central, East Himalaya, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Is., India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania, Tibet, Uganda, West Himalaya, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre

    Common Names

    English
    Voodoo lily

    Sauromatum venosum (Dryand. ex Aiton) Kunth appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1975 Sanford, W.W. [6245], Cameroon K000390810
    Jan 1, 1975 Bauer, P.J. [166], Cameroon K000390811
    Ward, F.K. [8181], India K000390868
    Polhill, R. [1485], Tanzania K000390828
    Polhill, R. [1485], Tanzania K000390829
    Polhill, R. [1750], Tanzania K000390833
    Polhill, R. [1750], Tanzania K000390834
    Fanshawe, D.B. [3003], Zambia K000390849
    Fanshawe, D.B. [3003], Zambia K000390850
    Chandler, P. [2784], Uganda K000390818
    Watermeyer [158], Tanzania K000390830
    Tanner, R.E.S. [692], Tanzania K000390825
    Angus, A. [441], Zambia K000390851
    Stolz, A. [38], Tanzania K000390835
    Stolz, A. [38], Tanzania K000390836
    Brummitt, R.K. [15157], Malawi K000390844
    Burger, W. [2992], Ethiopia K000390814
    Schweinfurth, G. [1570], Eritrea K000390812
    Schweinfurth, G. [1570], Eritrea K000390813
    Schweinfurth, G. [489], Eritrea K000390817
    Strachey, R. [10], India K000390880
    Jarrett, F.M. [736], India K000390869
    Jarrett, F.M. [736], India K000390870
    Barnes, E. [39], India K000390874
    Barnes, E. [39], India K000390875
    Barnes, E. [39], India K000390876
    Barnes, E. [1553], India K000390877
    Barnes, E. [1552], India K000390878
    Barnes, E. [1617], India K000390879
    Meyer [7470], Ethiopia K000390815
    Tweedie [62], Kenya K000390823
    Tweedie [62], Kenya K000390824
    Tweedie [62], Kenya K000390826
    Richards, H.M. [8733], Tanzania K000390827
    Richards, H.M. [16439], Zambia K000390848
    Duthie, J.F. [s.n.], India K000390881
    Jack, C. [425], Kenya K000390821
    Mainwaring [12], Kenya K000390820
    Aitchison, J.E.T. [154], Pakistan K000390895
    Collett, H. [323], India K000390857
    Collett, H. [667], India K000390858
    Collett, H. [s.n.], India K000390859
    Rich, H.H. [469], India K000390862
    Rich, H.H. [469], India K000390883
    Rich, H.H. [469], India K000390884
    Rich, H.H. [469], India K000390885
    J.J. [s.n.], India K000390889
    Aitchison [15], India K000390864
    Aitchison [s.n.], India K000390886
    Aitchison [16], India K000390888
    Aitchison [268], India K000390893
    Aitchison [15], India K000390894
    Woodrow, G.M. [s.n.], India K000390890
    Pawek, J. [13393], Malawi K000390845
    Major, E.J. [580], Kenya K000390819
    Salubeni, A.J. [896], Malawi K000390843
    O'Brien, J. [s.n.], Malawi K000390842
    Gamble, J.S. [4661], India K000390860
    Gamble, J.S. [4661], India K000390861
    Gamble, J.S. [6242], India K000390863
    Gamble, J.S. [22854], Pakistan K000390891
    Deane, H. [178], Pakistan K000390892
    Patel, I.H. [480], Malawi K000390846
    Gilbert, E.F. [433], Ethiopia K000390816
    Renvoize, S.A. [2101], Tanzania K000390832
    s.coll. [4408], India K000390853
    s.coll. [4408], India K000390854
    s.coll. [4408], India K000390855
    s.coll. [4408], India K000390856
    s.coll. [s.n.], India K000390872
    Harwood [90], Tanzania K000390831
    Adeleysen, E. [172], Tanzania K000390841
    E.M.R. [1290], India K000390871
    D.H. [803], India K000390873
    Schafer, H. [376], India K000390882
    Typhonium venosum 18898.000
    India Typhonium venosum 29047.122
    Milne-Redhead, E. [10446], Tanzania Typhonium venosum 18896.000
    Tweedie, E.M., Kenya Typhonium venosum 7172.000
    Polhill, R. [1750], Tanzania Typhonium venosum 41041.000
    Tanner, R. [692], Tanzania Typhonium venosum 6923.000
    Anderson [2773], Kenya Typhonium venosum 25723.000
    Bauer, P.J. [166], Cameroon Typhonium venosum 34392.000
    Kultan, D., India Typhonium venosum 6915.000
    Thomson, J. [s.n.], Himachal Pradesh Typhonium venosum K000390867 Unknown type material

    First published in Enum. Pl. 3: 28 (1841)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Haigh, A. & Boyce, P.C. (2012). Flora Zambesiaca 12(1): 1-54. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
    • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.

    Not accepted by

    • 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. [Cited as Typhonium venosum.]

    Literature

    Kew Species Profiles
    • World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2010). Sauromatum venosum. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Thacker, H. (2009). Sauromatum venosum. Assessment using IUCN Categories and Criteria 3.1 (IUCN 2001). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Mabberley, D. J. (2008). Mabberley’s Plant-book: a Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classification and Uses. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    • Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M. (eds) (1999). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, Volume 4 (R to Z). Macmillan Reference, London.
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • enum. Pl. 3: 28 (1841).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Haigh, A. & Boyce, P.C. (2012). Flora Zambesiaca 12(1): 1-54. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • A.D.Q. Agnew, Upland Kenya Wild Flowers p. 705, 706 (1974).
    • Hepper in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3: 116 (1968).
    • Hepper in Kew Bulletin 21: 492 (1968)
    • Kunth, Enum. Pl. 3: 28 (1841).

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    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 Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    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

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0