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This species is accepted, and its native range is Philippines.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Negros, Samar). Endemic.
Steep forested valley, shaded vertical rock faces, cut-over forest on slopes near ridges.
Primary lateral veins on the abaxial leaf surface significantly more visible than interprimaries and never less than 5 mm apart. Spathe persistent during fruit development, eventually rotting away. Spadix 14-17 cm long Confusion with R. philippinensis is possible, although R. elmeri differs by flowering on clinging stems, in the proportionally narrower leaves (oblong rather than ovate), in the primary lateral veins much less densely arranged on the abaxial leaf surface, and in the large rhombohexagonal (rather than small ± circular) stylar region. Very similar to R. perkinsiae but distinguishable by the primary lateral veins much less prominent than the interprimaries on the abaxial leaf surface, and by the longer (14-17 cm vs. 10-12 cm) spadix. Based on material seen it appears that the spathe persists into fruiting before eventually rotting away. The spathe of R. perkinsiae falls early on during anthesis.
General Description
Moderately robust, semipachycaul homeophyllous liane to unknown ultimate height; seedling stage not observed; pre-adult plants forming small terrestrial colonies; LEAVES: adult shoot architecture comprised of elongated, clinging, physiognomically monopodial, leafy, non-flowering stems and shorter, clinging, sympodial, densely leafy, flowering stems; stems smooth, slightly compressed-terete in cross-section, without cataphyll remains at the apices of active shoots, internodes to 2-8 x 1cm on free shoots, up to 2.5 cm on adherent shoots, separated by large slightly oblique leaf scars; flagellate foraging stems not observed; clasping roots densely arising from the nodes and internodes of stems, pubescent; feeding roots not observed; leaves distichous; cataphylls and prophylls large and conspicuous, membranous, quickly drying and falling; petiole channelled adaxially, slightly carinate abaxially, 13-25 x 0.4-0.7 cm, smooth, apical and basal genicula well defined; petiolar sheath very prominent, extending to and surrounding the apical geniculum, swiftly drying and soon falling ± whole to leave a conspicuous scar extending around the apical geniculum; lamina entire, oblong to oblong-lanceolate to lanceolate, slightly to rather markedly oblique, 16-34 x 8-14 cm, thinly coriaceous, base rounded to sub-truncate and very slightly decurrent, apex rounded-acuminate to acuminate with a slight apiculate tubule; midrib wide, prominently raised abaxially, especially proximally, slightly sunken adaxially; primary venation pinnate, slightly raised abaxially, densely pinnate and raised adaxially; interprimaries parallel to primaries and much less prominent abaxially, about as prominent as primary laterals adaxially, slightly raised abaxially and adaxially; secondary venation ± obscure in fresh material, visible as a very faint weak reticulum in dried specimens; INFLORESCENCE solitary, subtended by a large briefly persistent cataphyll; peduncle often very stout, compressed-cylindric, 13-22 x 0.7-2 cm; spathe not observed in entirety, seemingly persistent into fruiting and then rotting away at infructescence maturity; spadix stoutly tapering-cylindrical, often markedly curved, sessile, inserted strongly-obliquely on peduncle, 14-17 x 1-2.5 cm; stylar region rhombohexagonal, 0.9-1.2 x 1-1.1 mm, truncate; stigma cylindrical, raised, c. 0.15 mm diam.; anthers exserted at anthesis; INFRUCTESCENCE 16 x 2.5 cm.

Native to:


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

First published in Beibl. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 101: 11 (1910)

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 2000. The Genus Rhaphidophora Hassk. (Araceae-Monsteroideae-Monstereae) in the Philippines Gardens Bulletin Singapore. 52: 213-256

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.