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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.

New Guinea. Widespread but, in view of the rather few collections, perhaps uncommon.
In flowering on clinging shoots and by the conical style Rhaphidophora. geniculata resembles R. australasica from which it may be distinguished by the ovoid-ellipsoid, stipitate spadix (cylindrical and sessile in R. australasica) and the lack of fibrous petiolar sheath remains. It also differs from that species by the inflorescences borne on short shoots arising from the leaf axils. In this respect it is reminiscent of R. brevispathacea and R. stolleana, although in these the stems are pendent and not clinging.
General Description
Rather small, slender, semi-pachycaul homeophyllous liane to 3 m; seedling stage and pre-adult plants not observed; LEAVES: adult shoot architecture comprised of elongated, clinging, physiognomically unbranched, leafy, sterile stems and very short, adherent (always?) flowering stems arising from the axils of the leaves; stems smooth, terete in cross-section, drying deeply longitudinally sulcate; with very sparse to copious netted prophyll, cataphyll and petiolar sheath fibre, internodes 1-4 x 0.5-1.2 cm, separated by large, oblique, slightly corky leaf scars; flagellate foraging stems absent; clasping roots arising from the nodes and internodes, pubescent; feeding roots not observed; leaves distichous; cataphylls and prophylls membranous, quickly drying and degrading into netted fibres, these later falling; petiole shallowly grooved, 1.4-27 x 0.2-0.7 cm, apical geniculum long but not especially prominent, basal geniculum barely visible to rather large (dependent on age), moderately prominent; petiolar sheath extending to just below the apical geniculum degrading into semi-persistent netted fibres, eventually falling; lamina entire, oblanceolate or oblong-elliptic, slightly to markedly oblique, oblique, 1.8-35 x 3-7 cm, thinly coriaceous to weakly chartaceous, usually drying conspicuously discolorous, adaxially dark olive-brown, abaxially pale olive-green to reddish brown, base decurrent, apex acute, falcate-acute, acuminate or rounded-acuminate; midrib prominently raised and usually darker abaxially, ± flush adaxially; primary venation arching-pinnate, slightly raised abaxially, almost flush adaxially; interprimaries sub-parallel to primaries, slightly to much less prominent, slightly raised; secondary venation weakly reticulate, slightly raised; tertiary venation reticulate-striate, barely visible; INFLORESCENCE solitary, terminating a short shoot arising in the axils of leaves, occasionally arising from axils of fallen leaves, and usually inflorescences arising from several adjacent leaves, and thus sections of stems carrying several inflorescences in diffuse clusters, each inflorescence subtended by a prophyll and several degraded, netted cataphylls; peduncle strongly compressed-terete, 5-9 x 0.3-0.6 cm; spathe ovoid-ellipsoid, base decurrent and oblique, apex rounded, slender-acuminate, 3.5-6.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm, white, marcescent falling at fruit maturation leaving a large oblique scar; spadix ovoid-ellipsoid, stipitate, inserted obliquely on stipe, 2.5-3.5 x 1.3-1.7 cm; stipe 2-8 x 1-2 mm; stylar region mostly hexagonal, 1.5-2 x 2.1-2 mm, prominently conical; stigma punctiform on a long (c. 2 mm) stipe, c. 0.2-0.35 diam.; anthers not exserted at male anthesis. INFRUCTESCENCE stout ellipsoid-cylindrical, c. 4 x 2 cm.
Primary and slightly disturbed lowland to upper hill forest and lower montane forest

Native to:

New Guinea

Rhaphidophora geniculata Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jun 25, 2001 Utteridge, T.M.A. [79], Indonesia 64507.000
Versteeg, C.M. [1191], Irian Jaya K000291786 Unknown type material

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 25: 7 (1898)

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 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.