Amorphophallus variabilis Blume

Protologue: Rumphia 1 (1837): 146

Synonym: Amorphophallus variabilis var. cuspidifoliolatus Engl. & Gehrm.; Amorphophallus variabilis var. immaculatus Hassk.; Amorphophallus zeylanicus Engl.; Arum caeruleopunctatum Zipp. ex Kunth; Arum stercorarium Zipp. ex Kunth; Brachyspatha variabilis (Blume) Schott

Amorphophallus variabilis Blume
Amorphophallus variabilis Blume


Tuber depressed globose, to c. 15 cm in diam., to c. 8 cm high, weighing to c. 1500 gr., white, producing numerous annual offsets, these shortly spindle-shaped, 1-1.5 cm long. Leaf solitary or occasionally two. Petiole to 120 cm long, c. 3.5 cm in diam. (base), smooth or sligtly rugose at the base, entirely green (var. immaculatus Hassk.) or a green, olive-green or dark brown background colour, variously variegated with large and small, confluent and free, oval, rounded or elongate spots of dark green, white, greyish green, extremely variable. Lamina to 125 cm in diam., rachises narrowly winged but for their basal parts. Leaflets elliptic to elongate elliptic, acuminate to long acuminate, 4-34 cm long, 2-12 cm in diam., upper surface moderately glossy, midgreen. Inflorescence solitary, long peduncled. Peduncle as petiole, 8-120 cm long, 0.4-3 cm in diam. (base). Spathe erect, elongate triangular, acute, a slight constriction between base and limb, 6-23 cm long, 5-20 cm in diam. Limb near the base suddenly narrowed, margin of limb strongly reflexed, outside entirely green or dirty green with scattered, small, black dots, to the margin suffused with brown, the veins pale greenish, inside base maroon, reddish brown, orange or yellowish, the rest creamy white; limb inside creamy white, pale green or pale reddish brown, base within with numerous, small, laterally flattened warts and oozing out a clear fluid during anthesis. Spadix sessile, usually much longer than spathe, 9-58 cm long. Female zone cylindric or slightly conic, 0.7-4 cm long, 1-2.2 cm in diam. (base); flowers congested. Male zone cylindric or slightly fusiform or slightly obconic, 2-6 cm long, 0.6-1.8 cm in diam.; flowers congested. Appendix elongate conic, acute, terete or slightly laterally compressed, 6-48 cm long, 0.5-3 cm in diam., creamy white, greysh brown or pale brown, emitting a powerful gaseous smell, surface verruculose and with several, shallow, elongate grooves, deepest and most numerous near the appendix-base. Ovaries depressed, subcircular or diamond-shaped in cross-section, bright green, 3-4 mm in diam., 2-2.5 mm high, 2- (-3)-locular. Style 0.5-2.5 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm in diam., pale green or purple, the branches of the upper part often extending

Amorphophallus variabilis Blume
Amorphophallus variabilis Blume

laterally alongside the stigma, sometimes protruding beyond the stigma-surface. Stigma oval, elliptic, triangular or subquadrangular in cross-section, 1-2.5 mm in diam., 0.8-1.3 mm high, yellow, dirty yellow or pale brownish, shallowly or strongly bilobate, trilobate or quadrilobate, surface minutely scabrate, lobes hemispheric or conic. Male flowers consisting of 3-4 stamens. Stamens 2-2.3 mm long. Filaments c. 0.2 mm long, basally connate. Anthers rectangular in cross-section, 1.8-2.1 mm long, 1.5-2 x 0.5-0.8 mm in diam., subtruncate, off-white, pores apical, elongate. Infructescence cylindric, 8-16 cm long, c. 3 cm in diam. Berries at first green, later orange-red, one- or two-(-three-) seeded. Seeds subglobose, obovoid or elliptic, one side flattened.


Distribution: Java, Madura, Kangean Islands, Bali and Lombok.

Habitat: Teak forest, Rasamala (Altingia) forests, in disturbed forest, in village gardens, in plantations; from sea level to 700 m altitude.


Amorphophallus variabilis is a common species in Java. This species exhibits considerable plasticity in its characters, such as very variable colour in the petiole and the peduncle, as also in the size and shape of the inflorescence. It is distinguished from other long-pedunculate species with long spadices on java by its smaller dimensions and the spathe having a pale green background colour, never purplish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!