Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze

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Tacca leontopetaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Katiyo Tea Estates, Lower Pungwe River

Tacca leontopetaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Katiyo Tea Estates, Lower Pungwe River

Tacca leontopetaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Wafa-wafa Hills, near Kariba

Tacca leontopetaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Wafa-wafa Hills, near Kariba

Tacca leontopetaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Wafa-wafa Hills, near Kariba

Tacca leontopetaloides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Pungwe River at Katiyo Tea Estate

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Tacca involucrata Schumach. & Thonn.
Common names: Arrowroot (English)
Frequency: Locally frequent
Status: Native
Description:
Erect herb up to 2 m tall, with annual leaves and flowers growing from a fleshy tuber. Leaves usually 1-3; petiole erect up to c. 1.5 m tall; lamina compound, up to c. 90 × 60 cm, broadly 3-lobed, the lobes deeply pinnately and sometimes palmately divided into variable secondary lobes. Inflorescence usually 1, rarely 2 on an erect hollow scape, up to 1.7 m tall. Flowers 10-40 in an umbel, pale green to white, yellowish or brown, usually variably tinged purple. The whole inflorescence subtended by an involucre of 4-8 bract up to c. 4 × 3 cm, green with purple margins and numerous more or less pendent floral bracts, filiform, dark purple, up to 25 cm long. Fruit berry-like, globose to ovoid, 2-3 cm long, pendent, green to orange, dark brown when dry, normally only 2-7 flowers per umbel developing fruit.
Notes: A unique and unmistakable plant
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In a wide range of habitats, on termite mounds and in rocky places, often on sandy soils.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1500 m
Flowering time:Dec - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Subsaharan Africa from Senegal to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Also in Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles and tropical Asia to the Pacific.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 23 October 2011
Literature:

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 186 - 187. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 179.

Wilkin, P. (2009). Dioscoreaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(2) Pages 138 - 140. in Dioscoreaceae (Includes a picture).


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Other sources of information about Tacca leontopetaloides:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Tacca leontopetaloides
Flora of Mozambique: Tacca leontopetaloides
Flora of Zambia: Tacca leontopetaloides

External websites:

African Plant Database: Tacca leontopetaloides
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Tacca leontopetaloides
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Tacca leontopetaloides
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Tacca leontopetaloides
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Tacca leontopetaloides
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Tacca leontopetaloides
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Tacca leontopetaloides
Ispot Southern Africa : Tacca leontopetaloides
JSTOR Plant Science: Tacca leontopetaloides
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Tacca leontopetaloides
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Tacca leontopetaloides
Tropicos: Tacca leontopetaloides
West African Plants database: Tacca leontopetaloides


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Tacca leontopetaloides.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=115350, retrieved 29 May 2016

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