pollination, the spathe tube becomes tightly reclosed and rots off,
taking with it the remaining staminate flowers. Generally the dehiscence
of the spathe tube follows a smooth line of thickened, often raised
tissue, which is not readily apparent when the spathe first opens
but which may become conspicuous by the time the spathe is closing.
Part of the staminate spadix, generally including all of the sterile
staminate flowers, is closed into the spathe tube. This material
rots but remains within the spathe tube. As in the case of Alocasia
pubera (van der Pijl, 1933), the staminate flowers of Syngonium
may be good places for insects to oviposit since part of the staminate
spadix remains enclosed in the spathe tube and would provide an
ideal hatching ground for larvae.
maturity of the syncarpous fruit, the spathe tube is usually colored
on the exterior, even though it is usually green at the time of
flowering. The spathe tube usually also opens to expose the syncarp.
The syncarp is generally pale, with brown flecks representing the
original epidermal tissue. Sometimes the spathe tube breaks up and
turns inside out, with its bright, colorful interior exposed against
the white syncarp, e.g., S.
triphyllum. Birdsey (1955) reported that only two species,
namely S. 'wendlandii
and S. mauroanum, had
syncarps that matured white, but 1 found this to be true also for
S. triphyllum. In such cases the fruits might be adapted
for bird dispersal, since they would be highly visible and could
be pecked open by birds. In most cases, however, the fruits seem
better suited for mammal dispersal (presumably monkeys) because
they are not very colorful, yet they are fragrant.
fruit of Syngonium contains 50-100 or more seeds. These are
generally somewhat ovoid or cylindroid, usually 5-10 mm long and
3-6 mm in diameter, with both ends rounded. The pericarp is usually
brown or black with the whole interior white and moderately soft.
Germination of the fruits is prompt and viability of the seed is
lost promptly if they are allowed to dry out.