Amorphophallus angolensis (Welw. ex Schott) N.E.Br.
  • D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 8: 156 (1901) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. Africa

General Description

Tuber flat globose, 5-30 x 2-10 cm, forms numerous small and elongate off-sets on an annual basis. LEAF 0.5-2(-3) m high. Petiole 40-120 cm long; green with elliptical, purple, greyish to black spots, these may sometimes overlap each other; sometimes with a metallic green flush; smooth or lengthways paper-thinly ribbed (subsp. angolensis). Blade ca. 30-100 cm in diameter; rachis only winged after the first branching. Terminal leaflets elongate-broadly elliptic (‘länglich-oval’) to slightly egg-shaped, 9-20 x 3-7 cm, attenuating in a 1-1.5 cm long tip; underside dark green; upper side pale green and glossy; margin smooth. Cataphylls 3, elongate to very broadly elliptic (‘breit oval’); the inner one 20-35 x 3-5 cm; greenish to whitish green; densely spotted dark green to reddish green. INFLORESCENCE (0.5-)2(-2.5)m high; usually together with the leaf, or solitary. Peduncle (0.4-)1-1.5(-2) m long, 1-7 cm in diameter, not spotted or spotted reddish brown to purple, on mid green to dark green background. Spathe 17-60 cm long, divided by a strong and inclined constriction into a vase-shaped to asymmetric, broadly elliptic (‘ovalen’) tube and a triangular, open limb. Tube 5-25 x 5-10 cm; outside pale green (basally), spotted dark green, purple towards the tip, veins altogether darker; inside basally with pale pink to purple red hair-like emergences (1-3 mm long), to a height of 4-8 cm in the tube and then gradually shorter, inside further up smooth and becoming light green. Open limb 12-35 cm long, broadly triangular, acutely extended on one side, erect, inside and outside basally greenish purple and towards the margin becoming dark purple red; longer than the tube; margin dark purple, slightly undulate and folded or not lobed. Spadix sessile or rarely stipitate by 5 mm at the most, emerging at an angle from the axis, 30-100 cm long, usually twice as long as the spathe, with a change in direction in the floral zone such that the spadix has a distinct bend there; the transition between the staminate zone and the appendix is exactly at the height of the constriction of the spathe, where it converges towards the constriction on one side. Pistillate zone cylindrical, 2.2-4(-8) x 1-2.5(-4) cm, flowers congested. Staminate zone broadly elliptic obconical (‘oval-obkonisch’), 2-4 x 1-(-5) cm, flowers congested. Appendix long conical to slightly club-shaped, 20-90 cm long, 2-7 cm in diameter (basally), purple red to red brown, with narrow, inconspicuous, longitudinal channels and furrows, thus giving a velvety rough impression; stamens and sterile stamens sometimes running up the appendix for a few centimetres. Staminodes only present in the basal part of the appendix, retaining the shape of the stamens; ratio of pistillate to staminate zone 1 : 1.2-2; sterile zone between carpellate and staminate zone absent. Pistillate flowers 2.5-5 mm long; ovary globose to elongate egg-shaped, 1.5 x 1-1.5 mm, (uni-)bi(-tri)-locular, one basal ovule-attachment per locule, green; style 0.5-2 x 0.4-0.8 mm, gradually emerging from the ovary; stigma sessile to subsessile or sitting on a style, 1-2 x 1-1.5 mm, purple, arched globose from the side, broadly elliptic (‘oval’) from above, unlobed, flat globose or hooded (‘mützenförmig’) (subsp. angolensis), or 2(-3)lobed, stigma lobes globose to broadly elliptic (‘oval’). Staminate flowers 1 x 1.5 mm; anthers orange, cubical, free; filaments not visible or to 0.5 mm long, free; pores apical, one elongate broadly elliptic (‘länglich-oval’) pore per theca; connective thickened (subsp. maculatus), channelled (subsp. angolensis). INFRUCTESCENCE distinctly elongating, erect, cylindrical, 10-14 x 2-4 cm; infructescence as peduncle. Berries 1-2 seeded, red orange, 0.6-1.2 x 0.8-1 cm. Pollen orange, psilate (smooth), 62.1-67.1 x 57-64.2 µm, inaperturate. Smell of rotten meat.

Diagnostic Description

Basal inner side of the spathe with hair-like emergences, spathe strongly constricted askew; staminate zone ending exactly at the constriction and is leaning towards it on one side.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Northeast Tropical Africa Sudan
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Cabinda
  • Congo (Doubtful)
  • Gabon
  • Zaire


  • 1 Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon. Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • 2 Ittenbach, S. (2003). Revision der afrikanischen Arten de Gattung Amorphophallus (Araceae). Englera 25: 1-263.
  • 3 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.
  • 4 Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • 5 Ittenbach, S. Revision der afrikanischen Arten der Gattung Amorphophallus (Araceae). Englera. 25, (2003).

 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.
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eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
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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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