THE GENUS Hapaline Schott

Hapaline Schott, Gen. Aroid. 44, t.44 (1858) nom. cons. (see Nicolson 1981, Eichler et al. 1984) & Prodr. syst. Aroid. 161-62 (1860); Benth. & Hook. f., Gen. Pl. 3(2): 977-78 (1883); Engler in A. & C. DC., Monogr. Phan. 2: 489-90 (1879) & in Engler & Prantl (eds), Nat. Pflanzenfam. 2(3): 139 (1889); Engler & Krause in Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr. 71 (IV.23F): 21-22 (1920); Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 521 (1893); Ridley, Fl. Mal. Penins. 5: 95-6 (1925); Gagnepain in Notul. Syst. 9: 116-40 (1941) & in Lecomte (ed.) Fl. Głn. l‰Indo-Chine 6: 1130-1132 (1942); Hu in Dansk. Bot. Ark. 23: 426 - 27. (1968); Bogner in Pl. Syst. Evol. 144: 59-66 (1984). Hapale Schott in Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 7: 85 (1857), in syn., nom. rejic. (see Nicolson 1981, Eichler et al. 1984).

Diminutive to moderately sized, slender to slightly robust, tuberous to stoloniferous-stemmed, clump-forming perennial evergreen or deciduous herbs to 30 cm tall. Stem tuberous to stoloniferous, eventually clustering, stolon slender, encased by several cataphylls. Roots slender, little branched. Leaves: prophyll tubular; cataphyll oblong-lanceolate to linear-triangular or triangular, apex attenuate to acute; petiole terete, slender; leaf blade ovate to sagittate to hastate, light to dark green, occasionally with pale green diffuse markings. Inflorescence emerging before, with, or after the leaves, 3 - many together, carried below, level with or above the foliage; peduncle terete, slender, shorter than to exceeding petiole; spathe limb elliptic to lanceolate, apex acute to briefly attenuate; lower spathe margins clasping; spadix with female zone adnate to spathe, male and sterile zones free, cylindric to fusiform, tapering apically into an attenuated to short sterile appendix composed of fused or free synandrodes. Flowers unisexual, naked; synandria irregularly linear-elongate to oblong in plan view, apex flat, connectives massively enlarged into mushroom-like structures, thecae roundish, inserted on the lower margin of the connective apex, dehiscing by an ovate pore; ovary bottle-shaped to ellipsoid; stigma capitate, papillose; style absent to rather pronounced. Infructescence partially to completely enclosed by the persistent lower spathe, few-berried; berries globular to ellipsoid usually with persistent stigmatic remains, pericarp leathery, white, mesocarp sticky, whitish; seed ellipsoid with a very thin smooth testa and a conspicuous raphe, embryo large, plumule conspicuous, seed lacking endosperm. Type species: Hapaline benthamiana Schott. Seven species ranging from Burma to China (Yunnan) and south to Brunei.