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This species is accepted, and its native range is Panama to Colombia.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Dieffenbachia nitidipetiolata ranges from nicaragua to Costa Rica (Heredia, Limon) to Panama (Bocas del Toro, Colon, San Blas). Colombia (Antioquia. Choco). And Ecuador (Esmeraldas and Morona-Santiago),
In wetter parts of Tropical moist forest (T-mf), Premontane wet forest (P-wf). Tropical wet forest (T-wf), Premotane rainforest (P-rf) life zones (Holdridge, 1967).
The species is characterized by its long, glossy petioles with the unsheathed portion being moderately elongate,
General Description
Herb, 50-75(120) cm tall; sap moderately foul-smelling; stems erect or partially reclining; inter-nodes 0.7-1.5 cm long, 1.5-2.5(4.0) cm diam., glossy to semiglossy, dark green to medium green, smooth, drying dark brown to light yellow-brown matte, moderately smooth; petiole scars 4-5 mm thick. LEAVES erect-spreading, clustered at apex of stem; petioles 13 - 44 cm long (averaging 28.4 cm long), 1-1.5 cm diam. midway, sheathed 0.3-0.76 their length (averaging 0.48), very glossy as if varnished, rarely only semiglossy, dark green, drying orange-brown to blackened; sheath 14-34 cm long (averaging 14.3 cm long), erect to involute, acute and decurrent (but sometimes weakly elevated) at apex; the unsheathed portion 5-22 cm long (aver-aging 13.4 cm long), usually terete to C-shaped, sometimes obtusely and narrowly to broadly sulcate or V-sulcate, rarely D-shaped; blades oblong-elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, or ovate-elliptic, gradually acuminate to acute, equilateral to inequilateral at apex, usually only weakly inequilateral with one side 0.3-1.5 cm wider (but can be up to 3.5 cm wider) than the other, acute to obtuse or rounded at base, usually equilateral, sometimes inequilateral with one side acute and the other rounded, 19- 59 x 7-27.5 cm (averaging3 8 x 12.6 cm), 2.1- 4.8 times longer than wide, broadest usually at middle, 0.7-2.4 times longer than petiole (averaging 1.38 times longer than petiole), subcoriaceous to thinly coriaceous, moderately to weakly bicolorous; margin sometimes weakly undulate; upper surface dark green and glossy to semiglossy, plain green or rarely weakly variegated with pale green in some areas or throughout much of the blade, sometimes plain green with just the midrib whitened, drying gray-green; lower surface moderately paler, matte to weakly glossy, drying yellow-green; midrib + flattened (slightly sunken toward base), concolorous or slightly paler, sometimes white above, convex or bluntly acute below, drying pale yellow-brown often with a medial ridge on drying; primary lateral veins (10)12 to 20(22) per side, departing midrib at 20°40°(55°) angle on narrower leaves (especially in Panama), often to 70°-85° angle on broader blades (mostly in Costa Rica), weakly arcuate-ascending, weakly sunken above, weakly convex and slightly paler below; minor veins visible, not prominent below. INFLORESCENCES mostly 1 to 5 per axil; bracts 2-ribbed throughout; peduncles 11-18(24) cm long, 0.9-1.3 cm diam., somewhat flattened, medium green, semiglossy; spathe 15-36 cm long, 1.3-2 times longer than peduncle, uniformly pale green to greenish white or greenish cream, becoming pale yellow post-anthesis, semiglossy to matte outside, slightly paler and glossy within, spathe tube 2-2.9 cm diam., flatten-ing to 8-9 cm wide, weakly constricted above the tube to 1.7 cm diam., the constricted area to 5 cm wide when flattened, narrowly acuminate at apex; spathe blade 2.5-3.5 cm wide at anthesis, flattening to (3.7)4.5-5.7 cm wide midway; spadix 13-29 cm long, ca. 1-9 cm shorter than the spathe; the free portion 11-16 cm long; fertile staminate portion 5.7-10.5 cm x 6-11 mm, slightly broader at middle, gradually tapering toward both ends, bluntly rounded at apex; male flowers 4 to 6 per spiral, subrounded to hexagonal, sometimes depressed medially, the margins irregularly and smoothly in-dented; pistillate portion 5.5-14 cm long, 11-15 mm diam., extending down to the very base of the spathe; pistils 48 to 60(79) globose, green, to 2.5- 3 mm diam., moderately closely spaced except sometimes in uppermost 1 cm (the distance between them generally equaling or up to twice their width), usually to 3 per spiral or 4 to 6 in an arch across the width of the spadix; stigma yellow, de-pressed-globose, simple; staminodia 3 to 5 per flower, clavate, white, 2-6 mm long, up to 2 times longer than pistil, somewhat flattened and mostly contiguous at base (sometimes united in pairs), sometimess lightly thickened and somewhat puckered at apex, drying orange; staminate portion in-terrupted from pistillate portion by a + naked portion, 2.5-4.5 cm x 5-9 mm with a few sterile staminate flower scattered at both ends or sparsely in the lower half. INFRUCTESCENCES with spathe orange, to 23 cm long; berries globose, bright red, 4-6 mm diam.
Dieffenbachia nitidpetiolata flowers principally at the beginning of the rainy season (June-September), but also as early as March and as late as October, with the heaviest flowering appalently in August. Fruiting collections have been made from May through January.


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Nativa en Colombia; Alt. 10 - 1800 m.; Andes, Pacífico.
Morphology General Habit
No Evaluada

Native to:

Colombia, Panamá

Dieffenbachia nitidipetiolata Croat & Grayum appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1999 Croat, T.B., Zhu, G. [76449], Panama K000400545 isotype
Jan 1, 1999 Croat, T.B., Zhu, G. [76449], Panama K000400546 isotype

First published in Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 91: 731 (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.
  • Idárraga-Piedrahita, A., Ortiz, R.D.C., Callejas Posada, R. & Merello, M. (eds.) (2011). Flora de Antioquia: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares 2: 1-939. Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín.


Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • ColPlantA (2021). "ColPlantA. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet;"

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

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Idárraga-Piedrahita, A., Ortiz, R.D.C., Callejas Posada, R. & Merello, M. (eds.) (2011). Flora de Antioquia: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares 2: 1-939. Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín.

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.

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.