Culcasia falcifolia Engl.
  • Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 26: 418 (1899) 

Notes: Distribution: Gabon to Ethiopia and Zambia

General Description

Stem climbing; internodes 3/4–1 1/4 in. long. Leaves subcoriaceous; petioles long-sheathed, 4 in. long; blade 8–10 in. long, 2 in. broad, obliquely lanceolate, slightly falcate, curved at the apex, very unequal-sided, one side being twice as broad as the other; primary lateral nerves making a very acute angle with the midrib, ascending, slightly prominent in the dried state. Peduncle about 4 in. long. Spathe 1 3/4 in long, 3/4 in. broad, oblong, long-acuminate, orange. Spadix a little shorter than the spathe; female part 2 1/2 lin. long. Male part nearly 1 1/4 in. long. Ovary sub-hemispherical; stigma sessile, broad, deeply excavated.

Lianescent or ground-creeping herb with short clasping roots at and below the nodes; internodes 1.6–11.5 cm. long, 0.3–0.5 cm. in diameter (when dried); epidermis (when dried) densely or sparsely minutely tuberculate. Petiole 6–15 cm. long, sheath much more than half total petiole length; blade obliquely ovate to lanceolate, elliptic or oblong, sometimes falcate, 8.2–26 cm. long, 3.5–10.5 cm. broad, 1.9–3.3 times longer than broad, acuminate, base rounded to cuneate, rarely emarginate; pellucid glands variable, usually sparse to almost lacking, sometimes frequent, linear, up to 0.3–0.4 mm. long; primary lateral veins long-arcuate, running into the margin, usually not forming inframarginal veins. Inflorescences (1–)2–3(–4), inserted on a floral sympodium with internodes sometimes up to 1.3 cm. long, all except the first subtended by lanceolate bracts; peduncle 4.5–14 cm. long. Spathe thickly coriaceous, usually greenish white, white or yellowish, more rarely reported as green, yellowish green or orange, obovoid and not constricted centrally when closed, 2.5–5 cm. long, 0.5–1.4 cm. in diameter when closed, boat-shaped and gaping up to 2.5 cm. wide at anthesis. Spadix subequal to spathe; staminate part 2.8–3.2 cm. long, 0.6–0.8 cm. in diameter, subcylindric, narrowing to subacute apex; pistillate part 0.6–1 cm. long, 0.4–0.5 cm. in diameter, sessile to subsessile, rarely shortly stipitate. Pistils densely congested, subprismatic; stigma sessile, circular, excentric; ovary 1-locular; placentation basal. Berries obovoid to subglobose, 1(–2)-seeded, up to 1.7 cm. long, 1.1 cm. in diameter, glossy, green when young, becoming orange from base, then scarlet or orange-red to dark orange-red at maturity; mature infructescences ± cylindric with usually more than 4 berries. Seed ellipsoid, up to 1.2 cm. long, 0.6 cm. in diameter, with dark oval patch on one side. Fig. 4/1–9.


HAB. Rain-forest, riverine and swamp forest; 500–2100 m.


Uganda about 3 km. E. of Entebbe, Kyewaga Forest, 3 Aug. 1949, Dawkins 350!

Tanzania Wanguwe R., Gare footpath, 1 Mar. 1969, Shabani 322!

Kenya Kitale, Mar. 1967, Tweedie 3424!

Kenya Teita Hills, Chawia [Chowea] Forest, Gardner in F.D. 3009!

Uganda Lake Victoria, Nkose I., 22 Jan. 1956, Dawkins 870!

German East Africa Uluguru, in the Forest of Ngh'wenu, 5200 ft., on trees, Stuhlmann, 8817.

Uganda Elgon, Mt. Nkokonjeru, 20 Mar. 1937, Snowden 1043!

Tanzania Uluguru Mts., Bunduki, Kisaki, 8 Jan. 1935, Bruce 432!

Tanzania Munene Forest Reserve, June 1958, Procter 964!

Kenya Kakamega Forest, 18 June 1961, Lucas 99!


in E.J. 26: 418 (1899); N.E. Br. in F.T.A. 8: 175 (1901); Engl. in E.P. 21 (IV. 23B): 301 (1905) & in V.E. 2: 239 (1908); Peter in Nachr. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen, Math.-Phys. Kl. 1929(3): 199 (1930).

Jahrb. xxvi. 418.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Ethiopia
  • Sudan
  • South Tropical Africa Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Gabon
  • Zaire


  • 1 Haigh, A. & Boyce, P.C. (2012). Flora Zambesiaca 12(1): 1-54. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 Fischer, E., Rembold, K., Althof, A. & Obholzer, J. (2010). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Kakamega forest, Western province, Kenya. Journal of East African Natural History 99: 129-226.
  • 3 Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon. Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • 4 Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi. Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.
  • 5 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.
  • 6 Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne.
  • 7 Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 1: 1-114. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • 8 (By N. E. Brown.) (1902) Aroideæ. Flora of Tropical Africa 8 (0)

 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet;
Flora of Tropical Africa
Flora of Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet;
WCS higher taxonomy
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World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
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