Araceae Juss.

Rhaphidophora maingayi Hook.f.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Peninsula Thailand to Sumatera.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

General Description
Large, occasionally very large, robust, pachycaul homeophyllous liane to 20 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 monopodial, leafy, non-flowering stems and long, moderately elaborated, free, sympodial, densely leafy, flowering stems later pendent under their own weight; stems smooth, climbing stems rectangular in cross section, the angles often winged, the surfaces between slightly convex, free stems spreading, irregularly four-angled in cross section, sometime irregularly terete, branching little, growing moderate lengths, green, later mid-brown, with very sparse to very copious untidy prophyll, cataphyll and petiolar sheath fibre at the apices of active shoots, internodes to 13 x 2.5 cm on adherent shoots, shorter and less stout on free shoots, separated by large oblique leaf scars, older stems woody; flagellate foraging stems infrequent, 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, adherent, pubescent; leaves distichous to distichous-spiralled on adherent and free shoots, those distal on flowering shoots densely so; cataphylls and prophylls membranous, very quickly drying and degrading into netted and tangled fibres; petiole deeply grooved adaxially, 5-23 x 0.25-0.5 cm, smooth, apical and basal genicula weakly defined; petiolar sheath very prominent, extending to and encircling the apical geniculum, briefly ligulate, very swiftly drying and degrading into netted untidy fibres, eventually 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, 8-43 x 2.5-15 cm, coriaceous, upper surfaces semi-glossy, lower surfaces matte, base sub-acute to decurrent, apex sub-acute with a somewhat prominent apiculate tubule, margins very slightly reflexed in dried material; mid-rib raised abaxially, slightly sunken adaxially; primary venation pinnate, slightly raised abaxially and adaxially; interprimaries parallel to primaries and only slightly less prominent, very slightly raised abaxially and adaxially; secondary and tertiary venation ± obscure in fresh material, visible as a faint reticulum in dried specimens; INFLORESCENCE solitary, subtended by a fully developed foliage leaf and sparse to copious netted petiolar sheath, prophyll and cataphyll fibre; peduncle compressed-cylindric, 10-15 x 0.3-0.5 cm; spathe canoe-shaped, stoutly short-beaked, 12-22 x 2.5-6.5 cm, thickly stiff-fleshy, exterior dull green with black bruising, white with yellow margins internally, swiftly falling at female receptivity; spadix tapering-cylindrical, ± sessile, inserted level on peduncle, 9-10 x 1.5-1.7 cm, cream; stylar region, mostly rhombohexagonal, 1.5-2 x 1.7-2.1 mm, truncate; stigma slightly longitudinally elliptic, raised, c.c. 0.3 mm diam.; anthers barely exserted at anthesis, pollen extruded from between ovaries; INFRUCTESCENCE not seen.
Apices of active stems with netted prophyll, cataphyll and petiolar sheath Rhaphidophora maingayi is virtually indistinguishable from R. montana (q.v.) but for the presence of very sparse to copious netted prophyll, cataphyll and petiolar sheath remains at the shoot apices. While this seems a weak character is does serve to distinguish the species in habitat and, indeed, R. maingayi and R. montana are sympatric but do not intergrade in northern Peninsular Malaysia (e.g., Boyce 661 & Boyce 664) and southern Thailand (Boyce, pers. obs.)
Open disturbed forest remnant on steep slope, on sandstone.
Peninsular Malaysia (Kelantan, Malacca, Penang, Selangor),. Also in southern Thailand and Sumatera.

Native to:

Malaya, Sumatera, Thailand

Rhaphidophora maingayi Hook.f. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Aug 1, 2001 Maingay, A.C. [2972], Peninsular Malaysia K000523781 Unknown type material

First published in Fl. Brit. India 6: 543 (1893)

Accepted by

  • Boyce, P.C., Sookchaloem, D., Hetterscheid, W.L.A., Gusman, G., Jacobsen, N., Idei, T. & Nguyen, V.D. (2012). Flora of Thailand 11(2): 101-325. The Forest Herbarium, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok.
  • 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.
  • Mansor, M., Boyce, P.C., Othman, A.S. & Sulaiman, B. (2012). The Araceae of peninsular Malaysia: 1-146. Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia.


CATE Araceae

  • P.C. Boyce 1999. The Genus Rhaphidophora Hassk. (Araceae-Monsteroideae-Monstereae) in Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore Gardens Bulletin Singapore. 51: 183-256

  • 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.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. 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 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.