International Aroid Society
  The Genus Dracontium L.
Dracontium L.,Sp. pl. 2: 967. 1753. TYPE: Dracontium polyphyllum L. (designated by Britton and Wilson, Sci. Surv. Porto Rico & Virgin Isls. 5(1): 130. 1923).

Echidnium Schott, Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 8: 62. 1857. TYPE: Echidnium schomburgkii Schott.

Ophione Schott, Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 13: 101-102. 1857. TYPE: Ophione purdieana Schott.

Chersydrium Schott, Oesterr. Bot. Z. 15: 73. 1865. TYPE: Chersydrium jararaca Schott.

Godwinia Seemann, J. Bot. 7: 313-315, t. 96 & 97. 1869. TYPE: Godwinia gigas Seemann.

Eutereia Raf., Fl. tellur. 4: 12-13. 1836. Type: Eutereia nigricans Raf.

Terrestrial, tuberous, perennial herbs, 1-5 meters tall, with 1 leaf (rarely 2) and with 1 (or rarely 2) inflorescences, arising from an underground tuber buried 5-75 cm deep. Tuber more or less hemispheric, 2-20 cm diam., 2-10 cm thick; flat above, with a few to many tubercles among many roots; convex below, smooth or strongly wrinkled, without tubercles and roots. Leaf cataphylls 3-5, the innermost the longest, 2- 10 cm above ground level, partially covering the petiole base, whitish tinged pink or light brown (especially near the apex), dried and brown long before leaf blade fully expands and often rotting away and disappearing. Petiole 1-5 m long, 2-8 cm diam. at base, 1-3.5 cm diam. at apex, light to dark or brownish green, sometimes tinged brown near the base, mottled and streaked with whitish or pale green areas forming a reptilian pattern; armament varying from a smooth surface to having heavy protuberances, sometimes with horizontal elongated irregular projections bordering 2 differently colored areas, sometimes with spiny projections to 2 mm long; lower half of the petiole usually has more protuberances or projections, the apical half much smoother. Leaf blade with 3 major divisions, each 0.5-1.5 cm long, thinly coriaceous; upper surface green, glossy or semiglossy, rarely matte; lower surface semiglossy or matte; sometimes with fenestrations along rachises or major veins; middle division subdichotomously divided into 3 sections; lateral divisions subdichotomously divided into 2 sections; each section may comprise a single leaf segment or be subdivided into 2 or 3 smaller subsections accordingly; midrib and major veins convex and light green on upper surface and conspicuously round-raised and paler on lower surface; secondary veins more or less parallel and arching apically, forming 2 collecting veins along the margins, with the innermost the strongest. Terminal segments 8-20 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, lanceolate to irregular, free or confluent at base, often strongly decurrent downward along rachises, apically acuminate or caudate gradually into 1, 2 or rarely 3 apices. Smaller leaflets oblanceolate or more or less triangular, 1-15 cm long, 1-6.5 cm wide, caudate, acute or rounded at apex, free at base, or decurrent downward partly covering the rachises, or confluent completely at base with rachises completely covered by leaf tissue; irregular or often pinnately arranged on the rachises. Rachises mottled similar to petiole in a much paler scale or uniformly light green, sometimes tinged brown, smooth or armed as petiole; length from petiole apex to the first terminal subdivision of the middle division as long as or to twice as long as lateral divisions. Inflorescences solitary (rarely 2) arising from apex of tuber before or after leaf development. Cataphylls 3-5, whitish pink to dark brown, acuminate with a pointing apex; the longest one (the innermost) completely covering the underground part and the base of the peduncle, sometimes longer than the peduncle and partly covering the spathe. Peduncle reaching to slightly surmounting ground level, to 2.5 m long, often shorter than petiole, rarely exceeding petiole, 0.5-6 cm diam, much like the petiole in appearance when not covered by cataphylls, but tending to be smoother; coloration similar to that of petiole, sometimes more rose or brown. Spathe often persistent or marcescent, disgrading on developed infractescence, narrowly ovate to naviculiform, convolute at base, open above, often hooded to broadly open; margins not overlapping or overlapping at the base and forming a tube, to broadly overlapping with only a small apical opening; apex more or less acuminate, slightly arching (less than 45E) to strongly arching (45-90E); externally violet- purple, often tinged green or greenish, with obvious, often raised, veins, with cushionlike bullate; internally reddish purple to maroon, glossy, semiglossy, sometimes with thin dry scales, often with whitish or brownish spotted glandlike stomata; often with a whitish transparent area 0.5-10 cm high around the base of the spadix; periodically emitting at anthesis a foul scent like decomposing vegetables or meat. Spadix at anthesis greenish to purple, cylindric (sometimes thinner at apex), sessile or stipitate with a stipe to 1.5 cm long. Spadix of infructescence often 4-15 times longer and 4-8 times wider than at anthesis, 4-25 cm long, 4-10 cm diam. Flowers perfect, perigoniate, opening basipetally on spadix. Tepals 4-6(7), green to purple, completely covering anthers before anthesis. Stamens (4)5-17(19); anthers yellow, open apically, turning reddish brown, sometimes with dark purple especially near the opening after anthesis. Ovary of 2-5(7) locules each with 1 ovule. Style 2-5 mm long, dark purple, persistent or not. Stigmas 2- or 3-, sometimes 4-lobed, covered with a transparent sticky liquid at anthesis. Berries green when young, turning reddish, purplish or orange when mature, covered with small whitish raphid cells; apex darker than below, somewhat depressed around the persistent style. Seeds 1-7 per berry, kidney-shaped or more or less rounded, smooth or decorated dorsally. 2n = 26.