A new Amorphophallus species (Araceae) from Madagascar

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2003
Authors:Bogner, J.
Start Page:299
Keywords:Amorphophallus, Madagascar

Amorphophallus mangelsdorffii is described as a species new to science and illustrated. It is closely related to A. antsingyensis as indicated by the spiny (echinate) pollen exine, and both are more closely related to each other than to the other three endemic species of Madagascar. A. mangelsdorffii differs from A. antsingyensis mainly by the small stigma, much shorter pollen exine spinulae, a reflexed and twisted spathe lamina, a much less dissected leaf blade with relatively large leaflets and, in contrast to all other Malagasy species, its flowering simultaneous with the leaf at the end of the rainy season. A key to all Malagasy species of Amorphophallus is provided.

Full Text

When Mr Ralph Mangelsdorff visited a remote area in western Madagascar in March 2001 searching for succulents, ascleps, orchids and aroids, he discovered an unusual species of Amorphophallus in the Tsingy du Maintirano near the village Tsimaloto, flowering simultaneously with its single leaf at the end of the rainy season, while all other Malagasy species of this genus flower leafless at the end of the dry or at the beginning of the rainy season. Mr Mangelsdorff’s trip to the Tsingy du Maintirano (“tsingy” is a highly eroded limestone formation and “maintirano” means “black water”) in the rainy season became a wearing adventure, with long walks, a broken leg, rescue and three days traversing an undeveloped area on a two-wheel ox cart (Mangelsdorff 2001). His Amorphophallus gathering proved to be a new species, which is described here.

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