The Genus Stylochaeton

by Wilbert Hetterscheid

With 18 species Stylochaeton is a small genus. It is also small in taxonomic attention and a revision is badly needed. Exclusively African, Stylochaeton species are inconspicuous geophytes with a thick or more slender rhizome and often heavily swollen fleshy roots. The inflorescences are usually half buried in the soil. The individual flowers are unisexual but they possess a perianth (a bunch of structures surrounding the sexual organs but neither a corolla nor a calyx). The spathe base is fully closed and the spathe itself often very thick walled. The immediate relationship of Stylochaeton to any of the other aroid genera remains unclear.

Recent literature:

Bogner, J. 1984. A new Stylochaeton species (Araceae) from East Africa. Pl. Syst. Evol. 144: 77 - 81.
Malaisse,F. & P. Bamps. 1994. Revision du genre Stylochaeton (Araceae) du Shaba (Zaire). Bull. Jard. Bot. Natl. Belg. 36: 69 - 79. (in French)

The list below is based on Govaerts & Frodin, 2002, World checklist and bibliography of Araceae but I have stripped the list of synonyms because the species are so rare in cultivation anyway and extra names would not contribute much. So the list only contains the priorable names and the most up-to-date ideas about the taxonomy.

Stylochaeton angolensis Engl.

Stylochaeton bogneri Mayo

Stylochaeton borumensis N.E. Br.

Stylochaeton crassispathus Bogner

Stylochaeton cuculliferus Peter

Stylochaeton euryphyllus Mildbr.

Stylochaeton grandis N.E. Br.

Stylochaeton hypogaeus Lepr.

Stylochaeton kerensis N.E. Br.

Stylochaeton kornasii Malaisse & Bamps

Stylochaeton lancifolius Kotschy & Peyr.

Stylochaeton milneanus Mayo

Stylochaeton natalensis Schott

Stylochaeton oligocarpus Riedl

Stylochaeton puberulus N.E. Br.

Stylochaeton salaamicus N.E. Br.

Stylochaeton zenkeri Engl.


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