9. Pothos scandens L.

Pothos scandens L., Sp. Pl., ed. 1 (1753) 698 & ed.2 (1763) 1373 – 1374, 1675; Lour., Fl. Cochin. (1790) 532; Schott in Schott & Endl., Melet. Bot. (1832) 21; Endl., Gen. Pl., 3 (1837) 239; Kunth, Enum. Pl., 3 (1841) 65 – 66; Schott, Aroid. (1856 – 1857) 22, t.33 & Gen. Aroid. (1858) t.95 & Prodr. Syst. Aroid. (1860) 563; Engl., in A. & C. DC, Monogr. Phanerogam., 2 (1879) 84 & in Engl., Pflanzenr. 21 (IV.23B) (1905) 26 – 27; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Gén.l’Indo-Chine, 6 (1942) 1084 – 1084; S.Y. Hu, Dansk Bot. Arkiv, 23(4) (1968) 413 – 414; C.Y. Wu & H. Li, in C.Y. Wu & H. Li, Fl. Yunnan., 2 (1979) 741 – 742, pl.202, 1 – 7; ; H. Li in C.Y. Wu & H. Li, Fl. Reip. Pop. Sinicae 13(2) (1979) 16, pl.3, 1 – 7; P.H. HÈ, CâaycÀ Vi_tnam [Ill. Fl. Vietnam – in Vietnamese & English], 3(1) (1993) 422, pl. 8259. — Type: Herb. Hermann 4: 39, No. 329 (BM! lecto.; designated by Suresh et. al., Taxon, 32 (1983) 127).Pothos hermaphroditus (Blanco) Merr., Sp. Blancoanae (1918) 90, syn. nov.. — Batis hermaphrodita Blanco, Fl. Filip. ed.1 (1837) 791 — Type: Neotype designated here: Philippines, Luzon, Laguna Prov., Mt Maquiling, Nov. 1912, Merrill, Sp. Blanco. No. 57 (K!). In proposing Batis hermaphrodita Blanco cites no type. Merrill selected his collection Sp. Blanco No. 57 to represent Blanco’s Batis hermaphrodita (i.e. an epitype sensu Art. 9.7). I have chosen to neotypify Blanco’s name Batis hermaphrodita on this specimen.)[Pothos longifolius Presl, Epimel. Bot. (1849) 242, nom. illeg., non Pothos longifolius Hoffmans., Verz. Pfl. 102: Nachtr. 3 (1826) 53 (Mexico) nec Pothos longifolius Link & Otto ex Steud., Nom. ed.2(2) (1841) 391 (Venezuela) — Based on: Philippines, Luzon, Tayabas, Cuming 682 (K!)]Pothos angustifolius Presl, Epimel. Bot. (1849) 243, syn. nov. — Type: Myanmar, between Moulmine & Martaban, Helfer sub. Herb. East India Co. no. 5944 (holo not traced; C!, K!, L! P! iso.)[Pothos microphyllus Presl, Epimel. Bot. (1849) 243 nom. illeg., non. Pothos microphyllus Hook., Curt. Bot. Mag. (1829) t.2953 (****) — Based on: Myanmar, between Moulmine & Martaban, Helfer sub. Herb. East India Co. no. 5942 (K!, P!)] Pothos leptospadix de Vriese in Miquel, Pl. Jungh., 1 (1851) 105, syn. nov. — Type: Junghuhn s.n. (L! iso?). Pothos scandens L. var. javanica de Vriese, Pl. Jungh, 1 (1851) 103, syn. nov. — Type: Hasskarls.n. (L! iso?). Pothos scandens L. var. zeylanica de Vriese, Pl. Jungh, 1 (1851) 103, syn. nov. — Type: Splitgerber ‘Ell Pota’ 27 (L! iso?). Pothos scandens L. var. sumatrana de Vriese, Pl. Jungh, 1 (1851) 103, syn. nov. — Type: Junghuhn s.n. (L! iso?). Pothos chapelieri Schott, Aroideae 22 (1853) t.35. —Type: Madagascar, Chapelier (B†?). Pothos exiguiflorus Schott, Aroideae 21 (1853) t. 41. — Type: India, Maharashtra, Concan, 1850, Stocks s.n. (fl.) (K! holo). Pothos cognatus Schott, Aroideae 22 (1853) t. 42, syn nov. Type: — Pothos scandens L. var. cognatus (Schott) Engl. in A. & C. DC., Monogr. Phanerogam. 2 (1879) 84. — India, Meghalaya, Khasia Hills, Hooker & Thomson s.n. (K! holo).Pothos zollingerianus Schott, Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 5 (1855) 19, syn nov. — Pothos scandens L. var. zollingerianus (Schott) Engl. in Engl, Pflanzenr. 21 (IV.23B) (1905) 26 — Type:Indonesia, Java, near Bandung, Gn. Ardjuno, 19 Sept. 1844, Zollinger 2275 (L! holo, P! iso).Pothos horsfieldii Miq., Fl. Ned. Ind., 3 (1856) 178. — [Pothos angustifolius Reinw. ex Miq., Bot. Zeit. 14 (1856) 561, nom. illeg., non Pothos. angustifolius Presl, Epimel. Bot. (1849) 243 (Myanmar)] — Type: Indonesia, Java, 1802 – 1818, Horsfield s.n. (K! holo).Pothos decipiens Schott, Bonplandia 7 (1859) 165. — Type: India, West Bengal, probably near Calcutta, Voigt s.n. (C! holo).Pothos fallax Schott, Prodr. Syst. Aroid. (1860) 560. — Type: Indonesia, Kalimantan, Bangarmassing, 1857 – 1858, Motley 1194 (K! holo).P. scandens L. fm. angustior Engl., Bot. Tidsskr. 24 (1902) 272, syn. nov. — Lectotype selected here: Thailand, Klong Munse, 7 Feb. 1900, Schmidt 853 (C!). In describing fm. angustior Engler cites unnumbered material collected by Kunstler (‘Dr King’s Collector’) in Perak, Malaysia, but then cites ‘Koh Chang, Klong Munse’, a locality pertinent to the Schmidt 853 collection cited here. There are sheets at K and P (Kunstler (‘Dr King’s Collector’) 8274) that matches the protologue, but not as to locality. Since the Schmidt 853 collection matches the protologue and is more precisely attributable I select this to be the lectotype.Pothos scandens L. var. helferianus Engl. in Engl., Pflanzenr. 21 (IV.23B) (1905) 26, syn. nov. —Lectotype selected here: Myanmar: Taninthari, Mergui, Myanmar, between Moulmine & Martaban, Helfer sub. Herb. East India Co. no. 5942 (K!, P!). Engler cited two syntypes in proposing var. helferianus. One of these (Helfer sub. Herb. East India Co. no. 5944) is the type of P. angustifolius Presl, the other (Helfer sub. Herb. East India Co. no. 5942) was intended by Presl to be the type P. microphyllus. However, P. microphyllus Presl (1849) is predated by P.microphyllus Hook. (1829) and is illegitimate. Thus the specimen is available to stand as the lectotype of Engler’s var. helferianus.[Pothos auriculatus S.Y. Hu, nom. nud. in sched. GH et MO][Pothos leschenaultii Buchet, nom. nud. in sched. P] [Pothos nosibeensis Buchet, nom. nud. in sched. L et P][Pothos scandens L. var. falconeri Buchet, nom. nud. in sched. P] [Pothos scandens L. var. godefroyi Buchet, nom. nud. in sched. P][Pothos scandens L. var. macrospadix Buchet, nom. nud. in sched. P]

Moderate to rather large, slender to moderately robust homeophyllous root-climbing liane to 6 m. Eocaul monopodial, foraging and weakly climbing, apparently of indeterminate length but almost always terminating through meristematic damage and reiterating from one or more lateral buds, leaves congested, subshingling but not different in shape to those of adult shoots; stem of juvenile shoot to 4 mm diam., weakly angled or terete in cross section, leaves congested; stem of mature sterile shoot to 10 mm diam., weakly four-angled or slightly compressed-terete in cross section, mid-green, becoming greyish brown with age, drying almost black, at first somewhat densely clothed with leaves, later becoming naked, naked portions with prominent, 70 mm distant nodes; fertile shoot often branching to four or more orders, stem to 5 mm diam., densely clothed with leaves, older portions naked at the base to approximately half their length, naked portions with prominent, stepped nodes to 30 mm distant. Leaves when fresh bright to deep-green adaxially, paler abaxially, air drying dull green to brownish; petiole 20 – 140 x 5 – 20 mm, broadly winged, obovate-oblong to linear-oblong, , with 2 – 3 secondary veins and numerous veinlets per side, all veins prominent, especially in dried material, base decurrent, apex truncate, rounded or auriculate; lamina 20 – 100 x 30 – 140 mm, ovate to elliptic or lanceolate with 2 intramarginal veins per side, these arising from the base and either reaching the leaf tip or merging into a prominent submarginal collecting vein, all additional veins arising obliquely from the midrib, remaining parallel with numerous veins arising from them, base rounded to acute, apex attenuate-mucronate. Flowering shoot much abbreviated, arising from most of the mid- to distal leaf axils of fertile shoots, bearing a minute prophyll and a few 3 – 10 mm, sequentially longer, cataphylls. Inflorescence solitary; peduncle 3 – 15 x 0.5 – 2 mm, slender, erect to spreading, green to purple-tinged; spathe 4 – 8 x 4 – 7 mm, ovate, concave, margins variously inrolled, base short or somewhat long-clawed, apex rounded to acute with a tiny rather stout mucro, greenish to maroon; spadix stipitate; stipe 5 – 10 x c. 1 mm, terete in cross section, erect, the distal part erect to bent through 270°, greenish to maroon; fertile portion 4 – 10 x 3.5 – 10 mm, globose or ovoid to subclavate, yellow-green to off-white. Flowers c. 1 – 2 mm diam.; tepals 1 x 0.3 mm, oblong-cymbiform, yellow-green to dirty white, apex fornicate, triangular, truncate; stamens 1 – 4 x c. 0.5 mm, filaments strap-shaped, thecae c. 0.2 mm diam.; ovary 1.6 x 0.25 mm, compressed angular-ellipsoid, yellow-green to dirty white; stylar region truncate; stigma prominent, punctiform. Infructescence with 1 – 5 berries; fruit 10 – 17.5 x 10 – 14 mm, obclavate, mid-green ripening to deep scarlet. Seeds c. 3 – 6 mm diam., ellipsoid to compressed-globose.

Distribution — Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China (Yunnan), Comoros, India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mahe, Orissa, Sikkim (?), Tamil Nadu, Tripura, West Bengal), Indonesia (Java, Kalimantan, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara, Sumatera), Lao P.D.R., Madagascar, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah), Myanmar, Nepal (?), Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore (?), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.

Habitat & Ecology — On trees and rocks in primary and secondary wet to dry lowland to hill evergreen tropical to subtropical forest, occasionally on sea cliffs, in hedges or scrub or in coconut plantations, on a variety of substrates including clay, limestone and granite. 0 – 2100 m.

Vernacular names — Cha-kep (Lao), Kaw Kin Boi-lek, Kaw Kin Bai Noi (Thailand: Trang), Ma nok hon (Lao: Louangphrabang), T’Kap (Thailand: Chon Buri), Wai mai (Myanmar: Shan, Shan dialect), Wai So Toi (Thailand: Chon Buri), Wai-ta-moi (Thailand: Trat).

Ethnobotany — Thailand: Used in medicine as a blood coagulant, principally for wounds. Fruits and leaves made into a compress [Keenan et al. 3281 (GH)]. Myanmar: Infusion of the stems and leaves drunk as a ‘tea’ by the Shan [Robertson 250 (K)].

NotesPothos scandens has a wide geographical range and a bewildering range of morphological variation that has resulted in the recognition of many segregate taxa. Although most of these segregate taxa fit into P. scandens without stretching its boundaries too greatly, P. angustifolius Presl, a much branched low-growing plant with extremely slender leaves and minute inflorescences, is exceptional. To date plants matching the type of P. angustifolius have only been collected along the Myanmar (Tenasserim) Andaman Sea coast, although similar but less congested plants have been found in Thailand. Further collections of this plant are required. Ideally, plants should be brought into cultivation to determine if the habit is retained or whether it is an artefact of the plants’, presumably harsh, environment.
Pothos scandens is unmistakable in its typical guise, carrying rather small inflorescences on bent peduncles. However, as noted above, the species is variable. Some populations comprise plants bearing tiny inflorescences (Beusekom & Smitinand 2150, Geesink et al. 7250, Larsen et al. 44267 and Smitinand 2959 are representative of this form). Other populations (collections include e.g. Phusomsaeng 188, Larsen 9524, Kasin 366) produce with rather large inflorescences not exhibiting the bent peduncle until very late anthesis or during early infructescence development. Such large-inflorescened plants are often collected as ‘P. roxburghii’ (a distinct species restricted to Sumatera.)

Geographically representative selection of collections studied:
CAMBODIA. Kâmpong Chhnang: Kâmpong Chhnang, June 1875, Godefroy-Lebeuf s.n. (fl.) (K).
CHINA. Yunnan: Xichuanbanna, Mengla, Mengla Forest Park, 24 June 1995, Boyce 1048 (fl.) (K); Forrest 12138 (fl.) (K).
LAO P.D.R. Louangphrabang: Louangphrabang, 019° 52’N, 102° 08’E, Spire 846 (fl.) (P). Savannakhet: KM 20, Highway 10, near Savannakhet, 016° 33’N, 104° 45’E, 20 Feb. 1925, Poilane 12027 (fl.) (P, SAI).
MYANMAR. Arakan: Myebon, 20 Feb. 1958 (fl.), McKee 6098 (fl.) (K, P). Kachin: Sumprabum, from Sumprabum to Kumon range, Mapi – Zup confluence, 026° 40’N, 097° 20’E, 17 Jan. 1962. Keenan et al. 3281 (fl.) (GH). Mon: Moulmein, Kyanktalon, Jan. 1934, Dickason 6834 (GH). Shan: Keng Tung, Möng Nai, 6 March 1911, Robertson 250 (fl.) (K). Taninthari: Mergui, 13 Oct. 1838, Helfer s.n. (fl.) (sub. Herb. East India Co. 5942) (K syntype of Pothos scandens L. var. helferianus Engl.). Tenasserim: Helfer s.n. (fl.) (sub. Herb. East India Co. 5944) (C, K; syntype of Pothos scandens L. var. helferianus Engl.). Yangon: Yangon, Feb. 1934, Barnard 2 (fl.) (BM).
THAILAND. N1. Chiang Mai: Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Song, Doi Hua Kar-Mint, 25 April 1973, Sutheesorn 2371 (fl.) (BK). N2. Chiang Rai: Chiang Rai, 23 Jan. 1970, Sutheesorn 1405 (fl.) (BK). N7. Lampang: Me Ngao, 26 Aug. 1922, Winit 745 (fl.) (BKF, K). N8. Phrae: Mae Ban, 15 Sept. 1929, Franck 1286 (fl.) (C, P). N11. Sukhothai: Khiri Mat, Khao Luang, 20 June 1989, Parikarn & Prayad 30 (fl.). NE16. Petchabun: Ta Duang, 4 March 1931, Kerr 20353(fl) (BK, K, P). NE17 Loei: Wang Supung, Ban Na Luang, 11 April 1968, Chermsivivathana 817 (fl.) (BK). E27. Chaiyaphum: Phu Khieo, 016° 26’N, 102° 05’E, 3 Aug. 1972, Larsen et al. 31300 (fl.) (AAU, BKF, P). SW39. Phetchaburi: Chan Daen, 27 Jan. 1969, Vacharapong 396 (fl.) (BK). C47. Nakhon Nayok: Nang Rong falls, 10 km north of Nakhon Nayok, 10 Dec. 1961, Nicolson 1602 (fl.) (B, BK, K, L, P, US). SE57. Prachin Buri: Ban Bung hills, 2 Aug. 1966, Larsen et al. 1137 (fl.) (AAU, BKF, GH). SE58. Chachoengsao: Khao Tak Groep, 013° 20’N, 101° 52’E, 6 Nov. 1993, Larsen et al. 44267 (fl.) (AAU). SE59. Chon Buri: Si Racha, Ban Hub Bon, 13 Jan. 1917, Collins 473 (fl.) (K, P). SE60. Rayong: Ban Phe, beach road from Ban Phe to Laem Mae Phim, 012° 37’N, 101° 10’E, 23 April 1987, Soejarto et al. 6038 (fl.) (GH). SE61. Chantaburi: Kao Soi Dao, 12 Nov. 1969, Beusekom & Smitinand 2150 (fl.) (AAU, BKF, C, P). SE62. Trat: Koh Chang, Klong Son, 20 Dec. 1961 (fl.), Nicolson 1627 (fl.) (B, BK, K, L, P, US). PEN 66. Phangnga: Kao Prame, 27 April 1967, Sutheesorn 1449 l.) (f(BK); PEN67. Phuket: Ko Pah, Ban Krap, 12 Dec. 1917, Haniff & Nur SFN 2908 (fl.) (K, SING). PEN68. Krabi: Ao Luk, 16 March 1930 (fl.), Kerr 18580 (fl.) (BK, K, L, P). PEN69. Nakhon Si Thammmarat: Khao Luang N.P., Gahrome Falls, 15 Sept. 1985, Maxwell 85-886 (fl.) (AAU, BKF, GH, PSU, UKMB). PEN71. Trang: Southern Botanic Garden, 22 March 1993, Chantaranothai et al. 1296 (fl.) (K, TCD, KKU). PEN74. Pattani: Ban sai Kao, 30 March 1928, Kerr 14891 (fl.) (BK, K, L, P).
VIETNAM. Ba Ria – Vung Tau: Con Son Archipelago, Con Son Island, Con Dao N.P., 008° 42’N, 106° 37’E, 20 March 1997, Boyce 1198 (fl.) (HN, K, M). Gia Lai: K’Bang, Sopoai, 17 May 1985, LX-VN 2030 (fl.) (LE). Ho Chi Minh: Phu Mi, Nov. 1874, Godefroy-Lebeuf s.n. (fl.) (P). Ho Chi Minh / Song Be: Route between Ho Chi Minh & Bien Hoa, 22 Jan. 1865, Lefèvre 117 (fl.) (P). Khanh Hoa: Between Na Trang & Khanh Hoa, 012° 15’N, 109° 11’E, 15 Jan. 1923, Poilane 5239 (fl.) (P, SAI). Kon Tum: Dak Glai, c. 3 – 4 km west of Dak Glai, 26 Nov. 1995, Averyanov et al. VH 1964 (fl.) (HN). Kien Giang: Tho Chu, 009° 01’N, 103° 26’E, 8 – 10 April 1987, Averyanov & Kodryavtseva 1030 (fl.) (LE). Ninh Thuan: Ca Na, 011° 23’N, 108° 50’E, 22 Oct. 1925, Poilane 12526 (fl.) (P, SAI). Tay Ninh: Tay Ninh, 011° 18’N, 106° 06’E, 22 April 1938, Poilane & Müller 37 (fl.) (AAU, BKF, K, L, P).