Ambrosina bassii L.
  • Gen. Pl. ed. 6: 517 (1764) 

Notes: Distribution: C. & WC. Medit.

General Description

HABIT: very small herbs, seasonally dormant, stem a rhizomatous tuber. LEAVES : 2-4. PETIOLE : sheath short, subequal to blade. BLADE : ovate or ovate-elliptic, obtuse, often spotted; primary lateral veins 2-3 on each side, mostly arising at petiole insertion, arcuate, running into apex, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : Solitary, lying horizontally on ground. PEDUNCLE : short, hypogeal, elongating in fruit. SPATHE : ellipsoid, boat-shaped, not constricted, basally convolute, gaping above, interior surfaces bearing hair-like processes, stellate hairs occurring on inner and outer surfaces of ventral (pistillate) chamber, apex forming curved beak. SPADIX : enclosed by the spathe, shortly appendiculate, adnate to internal wall of spathe by septum-like lateral dilations thus forming two longitudinal chambers separating male flowers from female; ventral chamber (held uppermost) containing single female flower, dorsal chamber (held lowermost) containing usually 16 thecae arranged in two parallel rows of 8 each. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : each row of 8 thecae represents 4 sessile stamens (see note), thecae oriented transversely, opening by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : extruded in irregular masses, inaperturate, ellipsoid-oblong, medium-sized (44 µm.), exine striate-reticulate, with narrow undulate striae in “football” pattern, breaking up into verrucae at ends. FEMALE FLOWER : ovary 1-locular, ovules many, orthotropous, funicles rather long, placenta discoid, basal, style long, attenuate, curved towards spadix axis, stigma discoid, flattened, held parallel to spadix axis. INFRUCTESCENCE: BERRY: depressed-globose, many-seeded, style and old stigma persistent, whitish with reddish tinge. SEED : subglobose to ellipsoid, testa costate with weak reticulation, brown, hard, with large, white, conical strophiole (aril), embryo straight, elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Very small seasonally dormant plants; spadix fused laterally on both sides to spathe and entirely enclosed by it, forming a septum dividing the spathe into two chambers, with a single gynoecium on one side and the male flowers arranged in two rows on the other.


Warm temperate scrub and woodland; geophytes, usually in macchie (maquis) scrub, forest floor, humus deposits between rocks or in open stony ground.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Northern Africa Algeria
  • Tunisia
  • Europe Southeastern Europe Italy
  • Sicilia
  • Southwestern Europe Corse
  • Sardegna


  • 1 Dobignard, D. & Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 3 Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • 4 Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. The Genera of Araceae. (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: 1997).

 Information From

CATE Araceae
Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 14 Dec 2011 . 17 Dec 2011.
  • A All Rights Reserved
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eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
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Sampled Red List Index for Plants
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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)
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World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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