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This species is accepted, and its native range is Borneo.
Raphidophora elliptifolia 30


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Confusion with R. elliptica is possible, although the smaller inflorescences and persistent fibre at the shoot tips readily distinguishes R. elliptifolia. Rhaphidophora elliptifolia resembles Peninsular Malaysian/Sumateran R. maingayi (see Boyce, 1999) in the persistent fibrous remains at the tips of active stems and the stems rectangular in cross-section, but differs in the smaller inflorescences (12--22 v. 6--6.5 cm), the spathe persistent into fruiting and the narrower, more coriaceous leaves. Rhaphidophora elliptifolia replaces R. maingayi in Borneo.
Borneo. Sarawak (1st Division), Kalimantan (East). Endemic.
Primary dipterocarp forest.
General Description
Large, robust, pachycaul homeophyllous liane to 10 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, densely leafy, flowering stems; stems smooth, climbing stems prominently rectangular in cross-section, the surfaces slightly convex, free stems spreading, irregularly four-angled in cross-section, sometimes irregularly terete, with untidy prophyll, cataphyll and petiolar sheath fibre at the tips of active shoots, internodes to 7 x 1.5 cm on clinging shoots, shorter and less stout on free shoots, separated by large oblique to almost straight leaf scars, older stems sub-woody; flagellate foraging stems not observed (absent?); clasping roots densely arising from the nodes and internodes of clinging stems, pubescent; feeding roots rare, clinging, pubescent; leaves spiro-distichous on clinging and free shoots; cataphylls and prophylls membranous, soon drying and degrading into netted and tangled fibres; petiole deeply channelled adaxially, 10-13 x 0.3 -0.4 cm, smooth, apical geniculum well defined, basal genicula rather weakly defined; petiolar sheath prominent, extending to and encircling the apical geniculum, briefly ligulate, soon drying and degrading into netted fibres, eventually falling to leave a continuous slight scar from the petiole base, around the top of the apical geniculum and back to the base; lamina entire, narrowly elliptic to narrowly elliptic-oblong, 20-29 x 4.5-7 cm, coriaceous, upper surfaces semiglossy, lower surfaces matt, base acute to decurrent, apex attenuate with a slight apiculate apicule, margins revolute in dried material; midrib raised abaxially, sunken adaxially; primary venation densely pinnate, raised abaxially and adaxially; interprimaries parallel to primaries and barely less prominent, slightly raised abaxially and adaxially; 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 netted petiolar sheath, prophyll and cataphyll fibre; peduncle compressed-cylindric, 5.5 x 0.3 cm; spathe broadly canoe-shaped, stoutly short-beaked, 6-6.5 x 2-2.5 cm, thickly stiff-fleshy, dull yellow, persistent into early fruiting; spadix cylindrical, ± sessile, inserted level on peduncle, c. 5 x 1 cm; stylar region rhombohexagonal, 1.7-2 x 1.7-2 mm, truncate; stigma rounded, raised, c. 0.3 mm diam.; anthers not exserted at male anthesis; INFRUCTESCENCE c. 7 cm long (known from partial material only).

Native to:


Rhaphidophora elliptifolia Merr. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 84(Spec. No.): 88 (1921)

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 Borneo Gardens Bulletin Singapore. 53: 19-74

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.

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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.

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