Araceae Juss.

Dieffenbachia burgeri Croat & Grayum

This species is accepted, and its native range is Costa Rica.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

General Description
Herb, 0.5-1 m tall, sap milky, sharply foetid; internodes glossy to semiglossy, drying frequently matte and mintely warty, 0.5-2 cm long, 1.2-2.5(3.5) cm diam., dark green to blackish green, drying dark brown to black or yellow-brown or yellow-green. LEAVES scattered along stem with areas exposed except near apex; petioles 13-48 cm long (averaging 26 cm long), dark green, surface somewhat mottled, weakly pale-streaked near base, glossy to semiglossy, sheathed 1/3 to 2/3 the length of the petiole (o.5 their average length); sheath 8.5-20 cm long (averaging 12.6 cm), variable in cross section, from subterete to C-shaped or U-shaped, sharply sulcate to somewhat flattened near apex adaxially, the margins obtuse to acute; blades oblong-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 25-40 cm long, 5-16cm wide (averaging 2.8 times longer than wide), 0.83-1.6 times longer than petiole (averaging 1.21 times longer), slightly inequilateral, one side 0.4-1.4 cm wider than the other side, thinly coriaceous to subcoriaceous, slightly to moderately bicoloros, gradually long acuminate at apex, narrowly acute to rounded and equilateral or slightly inequilateral at base (one sometimes up to 6 mm higher on the midrib than the other); upper surface solid dark green, matte to weakly glossy (sometimes variegated with pale mottling), drying gray-green to dark olive-green; lower surface slightly paler, semiglossy to weakly glossy (sometimes matte or weakly glossy on both surfaces), drying medium yellow-green to yellow-brown; midrib above flat to sharply sulcate, sometimes flatraised, 3-5 mm wide, semiglossy, concolorous, drying slightly darker than surface; convex to thicker than broad below, convex toward apex, slightly paler than surface, drying dark brown to yellow-brown, often acutely 1-ribbed; primary lateral veins (13)18 to 28 per side, departing midrib at an acute angle, then spreading at (40°)45°-70° angle, sweeping along margin, not forming collective veins, sunken to quilted above, convex beneath, drying darker or lighter than surface; the interprimary veins slightly less prominent than primary lateral veins; minor veins moderately close and darker than surface (drying weakly raised); surface minutely speckled on drying. INFLORESCENCES 1 to 7 per axil; peduncle 7.5-12 cm x 4 x 7 mm, medium green, moderately glossy (sap with a faint, unusual scent); spatha 11.5-15(21) cm long at anthesis, 1.1-1.9 cm longer than the spadix, glossy to semiglossy on both surfaces, flattening 2.7-3 cm diam. At constriction, dark green outside throughout, slightly paler inside; spathe blade < 2 cm diam. When furled; spathe tube to 10 cm long, 1.5-2.0 cm diam., flattening 3.7-7 cm wide; spathe blade 2.7-3.7 cm diam, at anthesis; spadix 9-15.6 cm long at anthesis; free portion 4-8.7 cm long; pistillate portion 4-6.5 cm long, 5-6 mm diam, directed slightly forward out of the spathe; sterile intermediate segment 1.5-3 cm long, 5 mm diam, with many staminodia near bade and few just below fertile staminate portion; pistils 21 to 37, moderately closely spaced, almost contiguous, to 3 dispersed across apadix width, weakly constricted below middle, green to pale yellow; stigmes pale yellow, 1-1.5 mm on drying; staminodia about as long as or slightly longer than pistils, somewhat flattened and thickly swollen, sub-globular and somewhat truncate at apex; synandria drying irregularly turned upward, 1-1.4 mm diam, at apex, orange; fruiting spadix 5-7 cm long, ca. 3 cm wide; berries orange-red to red-orange drying pale yellow-brown, ovoid, 7-8 mm long; seeds drying blackened, minutely warty.
Flowering in D. burgeri occurs in the late wet season to early dry season from November to March, and mature fruits have been seen from early April to early October.
In Tropical wet forest (T-wf) Premontane wet forest (P- wf), and sometimes in Premontane rain forest (P-rf) life zones (Holdridge, 1967). It occurs in wet forests and swampy sites.
Dieffenbachia burgeri is endemic to southwestern Costa Rica on the Pacific slope from Dominical to the Osa Peninsula

Native to:

Costa Rica

Dieffenbachia burgeri Croat & Grayum appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Croat, T.B. [79211], Panama K000400559 isotype Yes

First published in Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 693 (2004)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


CATE Araceae

  • Croat, T. 2004. Revision of Dieffenbachia (Araceae) of Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard.. 91 (4): 668-772

  • 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

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  • 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.