Araceae Juss.

Homalomena Schott

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Asia to SW. Pacific.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

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

Native to:

Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Homalomena Schott appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
25263.000 No
25271.000 No
28648.000 No
Paterson, A. [346], Indonesia 37080.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [242], Brunei 49926.000 No
Hay, A. [2049], Malaysia 52037.000 No
58023.000 No
58827.000 No
Boyce [794], Malaysia 59052.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [747], Malaysia 59092.000 No
Johns, R. [7741], Indonesia 59400.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [916], Thailand 59591.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [933], Thailand 59594.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [886], Thailand 59595.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [792], Malaysia 59856.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [777], Malaysia 59857.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [917], Thailand 60528.000 No
Johns, R., Indonesia 61380.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 61449.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 61450.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 61451.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 61452.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 61453.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [1062], Malaysia 62775.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [1200], Vietnam 63241.008 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 63712.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 63758.000 No
Herscovitch, C., Australia 63760.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [1354], Bangladesh 63860.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [1418], Malaysia 63965.000 No
Wiriadinata, H. [13335], Sulawesi K000501410 No

First published in H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher, Melet. Bot.: 20 (1832)

Accepted by

  • 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.
  • 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.


CATE Araceae

  • Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. 1997. The genera of Araceae. 370 pp.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • 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.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images