Remusatia

Remusatia Schott is a genus of seasonally dormant, tuberous epiphytes or lithophytes in the aroid family (Araceae). Four species are recognized: three from the Himalaya to Taiwan, and a fourth (Remusatia vivipara) widespread in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia, extending through Malesia to NE Australia. The modern circumscription of Remusatia includes species formerly comprising the genus Gonatanthus. Distinctive characteristics of this genus include heart-shaped, peltate leaf blades and specialized stems bearing burr-like bulbils. These propagules are probably an example of zoochory and may be more significant than seed dispersal for the wide geographical range of Remusatia vivipara, which is reported to be shy to bloom in nature.


Remusatia vivipara (Roxb.) Schott is a rupicolous or epiphytic herb that grows up to 50 cm tall, arising from an underground globose, flattened tuber around 2 to 3 or 4 cm in diameter and vivid red. Its bulbils are scaly and ovoid, around 5 mm long, scales ending in hooked prickles. The leaf is solitary, is broad and peltate, 10–40 cm long and 5–30 cm across, with a petiole up to 40 cm long. R.vivipara very rarely flowers. Spathe is leathery, 10–13 cm long with a green ovoid tube. Spadix is around 3.5 cm long, clavate and creamy white with the flowers unisexual and congested, female at base, male at tip, separated by sterile flowers in the middle. Fruits a cluster of berries. It grows in subtropical forests as an epiphyte on rocks and cliff ledges. Adapted from sources: Plants of the World Online and Wikipedia

Photos from Dylan Hannon of plants grown from seed originally collected in Oman (Dhofar). Note the specialised erect stems bearing the burr-like bulbils characteristic of this genus. Photo 4 is a crop of the bulbils in photo 3.

Remusatia vivipara, Dylan HannonRemusatia vivipara, Dylan HannonRemusatia vivipara, Dylan HannonRemusatia vivipara bulbils, Dylan Hannon

Botanical illustration from Das Pflanzenreich Vol. 70-71, 1920 (public domain). Photo from the Wikimedia commons showing large shiny leaves by Dinesh Valke (source) (shared under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence).

Remusatia vivipara, Joseph Pohl in Das PflanzenreichRemusatia vivipara, Dinesh Valke, CC BY-SA 2.0

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Page last modified on February 17, 2020, at 04:58 PM