Engler (1879) distinguished Porphyrospatha from Syngonium because the fruits of Porphyrospatha supposedly were free from one another at maturity, whereas in Syngonium the fruits formed a syncarp. 1 now believe that this distinction was based on a misinterpretation of poorly preserved material. Porphyrospatha was based on Syngonium schottianum from Costa Rica, which has the typical syncarp of Syngonium. It is possible that Engler's interpretation of a genus with free fruits was based on an old fruiting inflorescence. These may appear segmented, especially after drying, and it is doubtful that Engler ever saw fresh fruits of his proposed genus. Old syncarps have been observed which were partly eaten, perhaps pecked apart by birds, and such an inflorescence upon drying might well have the appearance of having distinct fruits. [See for example Croat 25542 (MO).] Unfortunately, it is not possible to restudy the material seen by Engler, since the only material apparently seen by him was a collection of Wendland from Costa Rica, which is no longer extant. The illustration of this species in Berlin shows an inflorescence in an intermediate stage of development and certainly not in mature fruiting stage.