Typhonodorum lindleyanum Schott

First published in Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 7: 70 (1857)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Tanzania (Pemba, Zanzibar), W. Indian Ocean. It is a shrub and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011. araceae.e-monocot.org

Leaves sub-triangular to sagittate; parallel venation; plants huge 2-4m high, very frequently in marshy places.
General Description
LEAVES: Tall plant of 2-4 m with numerous leaves; stem covered in vestigesremains of dead brown leaves; rhizome thick, creepingawling. Cataphylls long, attenuating progressively towards the apex. Petiole thick, green and fleshy 30-100 cm long (the top part free), sheathseeds very long, overlapping, hence forming a distorted false stem. Adult leaf blade 70-140 cm long, 55-58 cm wide; juvenile leaves clearly proportionally much smaller and narrower, the length to width ratio is 4 to 1; the midrib thick, 1-1.5 cm at the base, often accompanied by 3 primary veins borne each side at the base, 2 pairs of those orientated towards the base, one pair is orientated ± horizontally with each side, still 5-6 veins supplement the primaryand supplemented by 5-6 thick primary veins, running towards the top; numerous secondary lateral veins, very slender, ± parallel and orientated towards the edge. INFLORESCENCE: Peduncle 40-50 cm long, about 3 cm diameter, after fertilization, the Infructescence leans towards the base. Spathe 45-80 cm long, narrowing where the male and female flowers join, rolling into a tube at the base; bladeleaf elongated -lanceolate, acuminate, 3 times longer than the tube and 10-15 cm diameter, cream inside and outside, inside itthe lower part changes color during Infruitingctescence and becomes green; the topupper part and the male partzone of the spadix desiccates after fertilization, while the lower part is enveloped enclosed by the spathe while there are fruits. Spadix yellowish, 35-55 cm long, reaching 3 cm in diameter, berries inserted towards the base. Female part zone ± cylindrical, about 1/6 of the length of the spadix; male part zone more narrower, sterile at the base for an equalof equal length to the fertile part; upper part of the male zonepart also sterile and 1.7-2.2 cm diameter, attenuating in a cone., Ca. 3 times as long as the fertile part. Fertile male flowers with 4-8 stamens joined in a synandrium, ca. 5 mm long, 3 mm broad and 2 mm high, obpyramidal truncate, thecae touching the apex and the base of the synandrium, dehiscing towards the apex by a short slit; staminodes of the lower sterile male flowers joined in a flattened and squashed synandrium flattened and squashed, somewhat hexagonal and truncate towards the top,; those arranged towards the pistils, irregularly shaped; ovary ovoid to globose, reddish, ca. 3mm diameter with a sub-sessile stigma, disc ofwith 3-6 lobes, yellowish to reddish, ca 1.5 mm diameter; ovule ovoid to globose, orthotropous, attached by a very short funicle with basal placentation. INFRUCTESCENCE ca. 17 cm long, ca.12 cm diameter and 38 cm circumference, spathe green, rotting at maturity. The dried part of the male portion zone of the spadix ± early caducous. Berry ± globose to ovoid , more oftenusually a little flattened, ca 4 cm diameter, yellow when fresh, with 1(-2) seeds. Seeds obovoid, flattened, ca 3x3 cm, 1.5 cm thick, greenish brown, without endosperm; large embryo with a long plumule with 2-3 leaves which curve towards the apex of the seed in a semicircular way. Chromosome number 2n =112
Growing in shallow water or in marshy places, along rivers, streams, lakes, pond, or lagoons of the east coast of Madagascar.
Very frequent, it seems the plant flowers and fruits all year around.

Araceae, S.J. Mayo. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

Morphology General Habit
Herb to 4 m. tall; pseudostem to 30 cm. thick at base or more.
Morphology Leaves
Petiole, including sheath, to 3 m. long or more, upper part green, eventually deciduous with blade, lower part a very broad convolute sheath forming false stem, whitish pink, striped and spotted purplish black; blade up to 140 cm. long, 85 cm. broad, held ± erect, triangular in outline, sagittate, green, apex acute, basal lobes with acute to rounded tips, separated by triangular sinus; primary lateral veins 5–9 on each side.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Apical, exserted portion of peduncle up to 50 cm. long, 4 cm. thick, green.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Spathe
Spathe up to 80 cm. long, basal tube outside yellowish green, becoming inflated and darker green after flowering, inside white to pinkish, ± 1/3 the length of the expanded, cream-yellow, acuminate limb.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spadix
Spadix up to 55 cm. long, shorter than spathe, upper staminate part and staminodial appendix together 3–4 times longer than pistillate part, yellowish to white, deciduous with spathe-limb.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary reddish to yellowish.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Berries subglobose, ± 4 cm. in diameter, yellow when ripe.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ± 3 cm. long, 3 cm. broad, brownish.
Fig. 10.
In pure stands in freshwater swamps; near sea-level


The Sakalava make a fibere with the leaves used for preparation of filet of fish (after Claverie). It is useful for making an edible flour but irritates the mouth and the oesophagus. The seeds, boiled several times, with intermediate washing, are also edible.


  • 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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  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
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  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

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  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

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  • Kew Science Photographs

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