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This species is accepted, and its native range is New Guinea.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Distinctive by the long pendent stems with much abbreviated, netting-sheathed flowering shoots and a small, marcescent spathe. Rhaphidophora stolleana shares the habit of long pendent stems with abbreviated of inflorescence-bearing shoots arising in the leaf axils, but is readily distinguished by a much longer spathe (c. 10.2 cm long) and spadix (c. 8 cm long). To date R. brevispathacea is known only from Mimika/Digul Prov. and R. stolleana only from East Sepik. In the small, marcescent spathe, R. brevispathacea resembles R. neoguineensis, although the latter has a quite different growth habit and inflorescence presentation.
General Description
Moderate, somewhat slender, leptocaul, homeophyllous (?) liane of unknown ultimate height; seedling and pre-adult plants not observed; LEAVES: adult shoot architecture not completely known, but observed to be comprised of greatly elongated, spreading to strongly pendent, physiognomically unbranched, leafy, non-flowering stems giving rise to extremely short, free, sympodial, (foliage) leafless, flowering stems; stems smooth, climbing stems not observed, free stems weakly rectangular to ± terete in cross-section, dull yellow brown, internodes to 5 x 0.7 cm, flowering shoots extremely abbreviated, arising from axils of leaves and, where stems pendent then twisting to present inflorescences upwards, stems all but obscured by netted petiolar sheath and cataphyll fibre; flagellate foraging stems not observed; clasping roots arising singly from the nodes and internodes, slightly pubescent, later glabrescent; feeding roots not observed; leaves weakly spiralled, scattered; cataphylls and prophylls membranous, very quickly degrading leaving semi-persistent netted remains; petiole grooved adaxially, 7-9.5 x 0.2-0.3 cm, smooth, with a weakly defined apical and slightly prominent basal geniculum; petiolar sheath slightly prominent, extending beyond the apical geniculum by two ligules, caducous leaving a slight continuous scar from the petiole base, around the top of the apical geniculum and back to the base; lamina entire, elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 6.2-20 x 2.5-8.75 cm, coriaceous, upper surfaces very slightly glossy, drying strongly bicolorous, adaxially dark brown, abaxially bright orange-brown with copious, minute tannin cells, base subovate, very briefly decurrent, apex acute to briefly acuminate, with a minute apiculate tubule; midrib slightly raised abaxially, sunken adaxially; primary venation pinnate, slightly raised abaxially, prominent (darker veins against pale lamina) in dried material; interprimaries parallel to, but much less distinctive than, primaries, very slightly raised abaxially; secondary and tertiary venation ± invisible in dried specimens, very weakly reticulate; INFLORESCENCE solitary, subtended by several reduced leaves (lamina absent) with rapidly degrading petiolar sheaths and netted cataphylls, the whole obscuring the peduncle; peduncle terete, 3-4 x 0.25-0.3 cm; spathe ovoid-cylindric, stoutly very short-beaked, 3-4 x 2-2.3 cm, thinly coriaceous, marcescent to fruiting, then abcissing basally and pushed off by developing fruits, leaving a slight scar; spadix slender cylindrical, stipitate, inserted more or less level on stipe, 2.9-3.4 x 1.7-1.9 cm; stipe slender terete, c. 3 x 1.5 mm; stylar region rhombohexagonal, 1.7-2.1 x c. 2 mm, depressed centrally; stigma punctiform, c. 0.4 mm diam., prominent in dried material; anthers exserted at male anthesis; INFRUCTESCENCE not observed.
Indonesian Papua (Mimika/Digul Prov. boundary). Known only from the type.

Native to:

New Guinea

Rhaphidophora brevispathacea Engl. & K.Krause appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1914 Pulle, A. [254], Irian Jaya K000291785 Unknown type material

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 54: 79 (1916)

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.


CATE Araceae

  • P.C. Boyce 2001. The Genus Rhaphidophora Hassk. (Araceae-Monsteroideae-Monstereae) in New Guinea, Australia and the Tropical Western Pacific Gardens Bulletin Singapore. 53: 75-183

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
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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.