International Aroid Society
Dracontium Inflorescences

The flowers of Dracontium are arranged spirally on the spadix. Each consists of a perianth, a single pistil, and 4-19 stamens ( Fig. 60 ). The perianth consists of four to eight fornicate tepals dilated toward the apex ( Fig. 61 ), and enveloping the pistil and stamens at anthesis. The apices of the tepals are greenish to purplish and covered with yellowish raphid cells. The lower portion of each tepal is often transparent white to light brown, sometimes with red or reddish purple dots.

Stamens. The stamens of Dracontium range from 4 to 19 in number. The filaments are enlongate often slightly dilated, subcompressed and abruptly contracted at the apex into the connective ( Fig. 69 ). The anthers are much longer than the connective and linear-elliptic in shape. They are often yellow, turning reddish brown, sometimes with dark purple especially near the aperture after anthesis. The anthers are usually hidden before anthesis ( Fig. 70 ) and dehisce apically by a vertical slit with a more or less rounded aperture at anthesis ( Fig. 71 ). Pollen emerges from these aperture in a strand that reaches the stigma, and is as long as or longer than style ( Fig. 72-73 ). The function of these pollen strands is discussed in the chapter on reproductive biology.

Pistils. The ovaries in Dracontium are ovoid ( Fig. 66 ), pale green, and incompletely 2- to 5-loculed ( Fig. 67-68 ), with axile or basal placentation. The ovules are solitary in the locules and amphitropous or campylotropous. The style is 0.5-5 mm long above the tepals at anthesis ( Fig. 62-63 ). It is dark purple to pale-green, and persistent or caducous. The stigmas are unlobed or 2-4-lobed, usually covered with a transparent sticky liquid at anthesis but drying out afterward ( Fig. 64-65 ).