The Genus Gonatopus

by Wilbert Hetterscheid

Gonatopus contains 5 species only, all confined to East and Southeast Africa and Congo. With the exception of G. boivinii, all species are small geophytes, with tubers or rhizomes. Gonatopus boivinii is very common in private collections and botanical gardens and is often mistaken for an Amorphophallus. It comes in a grey and green stalked form, often thought to represent two species.

Closely related to Zamioculcas, these two genera make up the tribe Zamioculcadeae of which the closer relationships to other aroid genus-groups is unclear.

Recent literature:

Bogner, J. , 1978. A critical list of the aroid genera. Aroideana 1(3): 63 - 73 (photos of G. marattioides & G. petiolulatus)
Mayo, S. ,1985. Gonatopus, in Flora of Tropical East Africa. Araceae: 9 - 15.
Obermeyer, A.A. & J. Bogner, 1979. Gonatopus rhizomatosus. Flow. Pl. Africa 45: pl. 1782 (now G. angustus)

The species list below is based on Govaerts & Frodin, World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (2002)

Gonatopus angustus N.E. Br.

Gonatopus boivinii (Decne) Engl.

Gonatopus clavatus Mayo

Gonatopus marattioides (A. Peter) Bogner

Gonatopus petiolulatus (A. Peter) Bogner

Gonatopus rhizomatosus Bogner & Oberm. = G. angustus


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