Description: [Gigantic to] robust [to small] herbs; stem rhizomatous, often stoloniferous, sometimes expanded and tuberous.
Leaves simple; lamina cordate, glaucous, peltate.
Inflorescences usually paired, apparently lateral (actually terminal). Spathe with clearly defined basal 'tube' and upper limb separated by a constriction, the lower part persistent, the upper becoming soft and wasting away or withering. Spadix with naked female flowers below, then a zone of tubercular sterile flowers, then a zone of polygonal male flowers of fused stamens, appendix reduced or absent. Tepals absent.
Fruit a multi-seeded berry; infructescence enclosed by the lower part of the spathe which is dehiscent at maturity.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 species, Indomalesia to Japan, Australia, Pacific islands. Australia: 1 species (native northern Australia).
Inflorescence very similar to that of Alocasia, differing in the usually much-reduced or absent appendix, and the multiovulate ovary and multi- and minute-seeded berries.
Text by A. Hay
|One species in NSW: Colocasia esculenta|