Tuber turnip-shaped. Leaf solitary, erect, 1 1/2–4 1/2 ft. high, tripinnatipartite, glabrous; lowest branches 10–12 in. long, about 5 in. broad; leaflets or ultimate segments 1 1/4–3 in. long, 1 1/2–4 lin. broad, probably sometimes larger, linear or linear-lanceolate, acute, more or less decurrent at the base, not articulated to the rhachis. Peduncle 2–3 in. long, smooth. Spathe glabrous; tube 1–1 1/4 in. long, oblong-ovoid; limb about 3 in. long, and 1 1/4 in. broad, reflexed, oblong, cuspidate. Spadix sessile, shorter than the spathe; female part 8–9 lin. long, about 1/3 in. diam. cylindric; male part about 2 1/2 in. long, cylindric, obtuse, its basal portion for about 8 lin. constricted to about half the thickness of the upper portion and covered with abortive flowers. Perianth-segments oblong, truncate at the angular apex. Ovary ovoid, narrowed into a short stout style, 2-celled; stigma rather large, peltate, exserted just beyond the perianth-segments. Stamens in the male flowers 4, connate into a tube around an abortive ovary and equalling it in length, entirely absent in the female flowers.
Tuber horizontal and cylindric (especially in S. African material), rarely subglobose, 5–20 cm. long, 2–4 cm. in diameter. Leaf 20–65 cm. tall, glabrous; petiole 10–40 cm. long, dull green; pulvinus basal, cylindric, hidden by cataphylls; blade bi- to quad-ripinnate, 15–30 cm. broad; node of basal pair of pinnae usually bearing subsidiary leaflets or pinnae; ultimate leaflets 1–9 cm. long, 0.1–2(–4.5) cm. broad, linear to broadly elliptic, acuminate, ± narrowed basally, usually sessile or decurrent. Inflorescences usually solitary, rarely in pairs, appearing just before leaf. Peduncle 3–13 cm. long, 0.5–0.6 cm. in diameter, terete. Spathe 4–6.5 cm. long; tube broadly ovoid, constricted apically, 1.1–1.4 cm. long, 1.2–1.3 cm. in diameter, outside light yellowish green with darker green speckling, paler within; limb broadly elliptic, 2.5–5 cm. long, 2.3–3 cm. broad, cuspidate, reflexing at maturity, pale brown with darker veins on outside. Spadix 3.9–5.3 cm. long; staminate part cylindric to clavate, 2.5–4 cm. long, 0.8 cm. in diameter, white, apex rounded, constricted at base; sterile intermediate part conic, 0.7–0.8 cm. long, 0.4–0.5 cm. in diameter at narrowest point, white; pistillate part shortly subcylindric, 0.7–0.8 cm. long, 1 cm. in diameter. Staminate flower: tepals usually 4 (rarely 5 or 6). Pistillate flower: tepals light green; staminodes 0–1, subcylindric; ovary ± laterally compressed, 2-locular; locules uniovulate, placentas at base of septum; stigma discoid, 1–1.5 mm. in diameter, dark green. Infructescence shortly cylindric. Berry ovoid, 1–1.8 cm. long, 1.4–1.5 cm. in diameter, 1–2-seeded, orange to yellow. Seed ovoid-elliptic, 1 cm. long, 0.7 cm. in diameter.
HAB. Forest; approx. 200–1000 m.
in Bull. Herb. Boiss., sér. 2, 1: 778 (1901) & in F.T.A. 8: 197 (1901); Engl. in E.P. 21 (IV.23B): 308 (1905) & in V.E. 2: 241 (1908); Peter in Nachr. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen, Math.-Phys. Kl. 1929 (3): 209 (1930).