Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is N. & NW. Borneo.
Raphidophora elliptica KampungTringgus 2


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.


Clinging stems square or rectangular in cross-section; tips of active stems with netted prophyll, cataphyll and petiolar sheath fibre.


Borneo. Sarawak (1st and 3rd Divisions), Brunei Darussalam (Muara, Temburong) Sabah (Sandakan). Endemic.

General Description

Large, occasionally very large, robust, pachycaul homeophyllous liane to 30 m; seedling stage a non-skototropic shingling shoot; pre-adult plants occasionally forming small terrestrial colonies of appressed shingling shoots; LEAVES: adult shoot architecture comprised of greatly elongated, clinging, physiognomically unbranched, leafy, non-flowering stems and long, moderately elaborated, free, leafy, flowering stems later pendent under their own weight; stems smooth, climbing stems broadly rectangular in cross-section, the angles often slightly winged, the surfaces between convex, free stems spreading, rectangular in cross-section, branching, growing to considerable lengths, green, later mid-brown, without fibre at the tips of active shoots, internodes to 16 x 1-2.5 cm on clinging shoots, usually shorter and less stout on free shoots, separated by large oblique leaf scars, older stems woody; flagellate foraging stems frequent, often of great length, ± rectangular in cross-section; clasping roots densely arising from the nodes and internodes of clinging stems, densely pubescent; feeding roots rare, clinging, pubescent; leaves distichous and ascending on clinging and free shoots; cataphylls and prophylls membranous, very soon drying and falling; petiole deeply grooved adaxially, 10-21.5 x 0.2-1 cm, smooth, apical and basal genicula weakly defined; petiolar sheath very prominent but soon falling, extending to and encircling the apical geniculum, ligulate, very soon drying and falling to leave a continuous conspicuous scar from the petiole base, around the top of the apical geniculum and back to the base; lamina entire, elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate or falcate-oblong, weakly channelled along midrib, 16-25 x 2.5-8 cm, coriaceous, upper surfaces semiglossy, lower surfaces semimatt, base subacute to rounded or very slightly cordate, apex subacute with a somewhat prominent apiculate apicule, margins very slightly revolute in dried material; midrib raised abaxially, slightly sunken adaxially; primary venation pinnate, slightly raised abaxially and adaxially but barely visible in fresh material; interprimaries parallel to primaries and only slightly less prominent, very slightly raised abaxially and adaxially, ± obscure in fresh material; secondary and tertiary venation ± obscure in fresh material, visible as a very faint reticulum in dried specimens; INFLORESCENCE solitary, subtended by a fully developed foliage leaf and one or more membranous, soon falling cataphylls; peduncle compressed-cylindric, 4-11 x 0.3-0.5 cm; spathe canoe-shaped, stoutly very short-beaked, 6.5-16 x 2-3.5 cm, thickly stiff-fleshy, dull yellow, paler internally, soon falling at female anthesis; spadix tapering-cylindrical, ± sessile, inserted level on peduncle, 8-14 x 1.5-2 cm; stylar region weakly rhombohexagonal, 1.8-2.2 x 1.9-2.1 mm, ± truncate; stigma punctiform, raised, c. 0.3 mm diam.; anthers barely exserted at male anthesis, pollen extruded from between ovaries; INFRUCTESCENCE 10-15 x 2-2.5 cm.


On trees and cliffs in primary to disturbed primary lowland dipterocarp and swamp forest, on a variety of substrates including limestone and shale.

Native to:


Rhaphidophora elliptica Ridl. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 44: 186 (1905)

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

  • Boyce, P.Charles The Genus Rhaphidophora Hassk. (Araceae-Monsteroideae-Monstereae) in Borneo Gardens Bulletin Singapore. 53, (2001).

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.

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.

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew