Family:
Araceae Juss.

Arisaema consanguineum Schott

Arisaema consanguineum is an exotic-looking tuberous perennial, with arum-like flowers, usually striped brown and cream. It is widely available in British nurseries and adds an exotic note to the garden. It is a variable species, which is perhaps unsurprising due to its wide distribution in Asia, and although plants originating from the Himalaya are hardy in southern England, those from Thailand, for example, need glasshouse protection. It is therefore of practical use to know the origin of a plant before purchasing a specimen.

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
Arisaema consanguineum is a striking plant with rather sinister-looking flowers and bold foliage.

Arisaema consanguineum is an exotic-looking tuberous perennial, with arum-like flowers, usually striped brown and cream. It is widely available in British nurseries and adds an exotic note to the garden. It is a variable species, which is perhaps unsurprising due to its wide distribution in Asia, and although plants originating from the Himalaya are hardy in southern England, those from Thailand, for example, need glasshouse protection. It is therefore of practical use to know the origin of a plant before purchasing a specimen.

This species was named by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794-1865), Director of the Imperial Gardens at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. He was one of the great experts on the aroid family and produced numerous beautifully illustrated books on the subject.

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

Arisaema consanguineum subsp. consanguineum is native to northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, northern Thailand, Laos and China. Arisaema consanguineum subsp. kelung-insulare is restricted to Taiwan. It is found at elevations of 1000-3200 m.

Description

Arisaema consanguineum is a tuberous perennial, up to 1 m tall. It has a single leaf (rarely two), with several narrow leaflets, tapering to a thread-like tail. The flowers appear May-July and have a green, or brown and cream striped spathe (about 5 cm long) with a long, narrow point and a whitish, club-shaped spadix. The flowers are followed by a cluster of red berries.

Threats and conservation

Arisaema consanguineum is common in many parts of China.

Uses

Arisaema consanguineum is grown as an ornamental. In Nepal, the leaves are boiled and eaten as vegetables. The tubers of many species of Arisaema , including A. consanguineum , are used in the Himalaya and China for a variety of medicinal purposes. For example, A. consanguineum is traditionally used to treat coughs, epilepsy and rheumatism. However, all parts of the plant contain oxalic acid and calcium oxalate crystals (raphides) which are strongly irritating, and can produce severe poisoning if eaten without proper preparation. In India, for example, this species, the common name of which is snake cob, has been responsible for livestock poisoning.

This species at Kew

Arisaema consanguineum can be seen in the Woodland Garden at Kew Gardens and in the Bog Garden at Wakehurst.

Pressed and dried and alcohol-preserved specimens of Arisaema consanguineum are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers from around the world, by appointment. The details of some of these specimens, including images, can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.

Distribution
Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand
Ecology
Pine forests, mixed conifer/deciduous forests, thickets, grassy slopes and lakesides between rocks.
Conservation
Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.
Hazards

All parts of the plant contain oxalic acid and calcium oxalate crystals (raphides) which are strongly irritating and can result in severe poisoning if eaten. Can only be eaten safely after being properly processed and cooked.

[CATE]

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

Distribution
India: Himalaya (Uttar Pradesh to Sikkim), Assam, Maipur; Bhutan; Burma; N. Thailand; China: Southern Tibet to Taiwan.
Habitat
Mixed semi-deciduous forest in Himalaya to montane forest in Thailand.
General Description
Robust perennial herb up to 1 m tall with subglobose tuber. Leaf solitary, surrounded at base by about 3 oblong bracts (cataphylls); petiole sheathed for about half its length, above sheath uniform mid green, becoming striated with brown basally, sheath pink-tinged brown; blade radiatisect, leaflets 7-11, sessile narrowly-elliptic to sublinear, 24-33 cm long, 3-6.5 cm broad, acute-acuminate (filiform in some collections), cuneate basally, glossy darkish greeen aboev, paler below, subequal, margins entire. Inflorescence shorter than leaves (equal in some forms), peduncle pale green. Spathe-tube cylindric, 5 cm long, 1.4 cm in diam., pale green with slightly paler veins, white at extreme base; limb with lower part broadlyovate, 7 cm long, 4.4 cm broad, broadly auriculate with somewhat revolute margins, exterior green with purple-tinged veins, interior pale green with brown-purple margins, upper part a long, pendent, subulate to filamentous tail up to 18 cm long. Spadix female (in our plant); appendix clavate, longer than spathe tube and curved forwards at swollen, rounded apex, 6 cm long, 0.7 cm in diam. near apex, pale green, basal half erect, cylindric, bearing a few up-curved, subulate projections; female zone conic, 2.3 cm long, 1 cm in diam. Female flowers 1 mm in diam., ovary globose, style very short, apiculate, stigma capitate. (Male spadix as represented in Kew Herbarium by other collections from the Chiang Mai region of northern Thailand differs in lacking projections at the base of the spadix. Male flowers subsessile or sessile, anthers dehiscing by circular pores.)
Diagnostic
A widespread and variable species.The most constant characters are its single leaf with radiatisect leaflets, the long-tailed spathe limb and the cylindric to club-shaped spadix appendix with upwards curving basal projections. Not suprisingly, however there are variants of this basic pattern which appear to have some geographical correlations.

[KSP]
Use
Ornamental, medicinal, leaves boiled and eaten in the Himalaya.

Native to:

Assam, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Inner Mongolia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Qinghai, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, West Himalaya

Arisaema consanguineum Schott appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Nepal 29047.340
37351.000
Needham [525], Nepal 49904.000

First published in Bonplandia (Hannover) 7: 27 (1859)

Accepted by

  • Boyce, P.C., Sookchaloem, D., Hetterscheid, W.L.A., Gusman, G., Jacobsen, N., Idei, T. & Nguyen, V.D. (2012). Flora of Thailand 11(2): 101-325. The Forest Herbarium, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok.
  • 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.
  • Gusman, G. & Gusman, L. (2006). The Genus Arisaema. A monograph for botanists and nature lovers, ed. 2: 1-474. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.
  • Sasikala, K., Vajravelu, E. & Daniel, P. (2019). Fascicles of Flora of India 29: 1-357. Botanical Survey of India, New Delhi.
  • Tanaka, N., Koyama, T. & Murata, J. (2005). The flowering plants of Mt. Popa, central Myanmar - Results of Myanmar-Japanese joint expeditions, 2000-2004 Makinoa 5: 1-102.

Not accepted by

  • Ma, Z. & Li, H. (2017). The genus Arisaema (Araceae: Aroideae: Arisaemateae) in China - A taxonomic revision and annotated list of species Aroideana 40: 49-134. [Cited as Arisaema erubescens.]
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis. [Cited as Arisaema erubescens.]

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Bown, D. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  • Chopra, R.N., Badhwar, R.L. & Ghosh, S. (1965). Poisonous Plants of India, Vol. II. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.Gusman, G. & Gusman, L. (2006). The Genus Arisaema. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
  • Manandhar, N.P. (2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
  • Mayo, S. (1984). Arisaema consanguineum. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 1(2): 59-61.
  • Phillips, R. & Rix, M. (1989). Bulbs. Pan Books, London.
  • Riedl, H.H. (1965). Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794-1865). Taxon 14(7): 209-213.
  • World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2010). Arisaema consanguineum. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

CATE Araceae

  • Mayo, S.J. 1984. Some Choice Cultivated Arisaemas. Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 1 (2), 51-67.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Gusman, G. & Gusman, L. (2006). The Genus Arisaema. A monograph for botanists and nature lovers, ed. 2: 1-474. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.
  • Ma, Z. & Li, H. (2017). The genus Arisaema (Araceae: Aroideae: Arisaemateae) in China - A taxonomic revision and annotated list of species Aroideana 40: 49-134.

  • 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

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. 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 2022. 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 Science Photographs

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • Kew Species Profiles

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