15. Amorphophallus xiei H. Li & Z. L. Dao, Novon. 16: 240. 2006.
谢君蘑芋 xie jun mo yu
Tuber dark brown outside, pink inside, depressed globose, 7-8 cm high, ca. 16 cm in diam., root scars not swollen, without offset development. Leaf solitary; petiole pink at base, green to deep green apically, sometimes with some inconspicuous, paler, rhombic, linear, or irregular spots with a dark center or with scattered very small, dark green dots, 60-80 cm, glabrous; leaf blade 60-120 cm in diam.; leaflets pale abaxially, green adaxially, elliptic, to ca. 23 × 8 cm, apex acuminate; main branching points in leaf blade with an epiphyllar bulbil, these brown, depressed globose to subglobose, to 3 cm in diam. Inflorescence solitary; peduncle colored as petiole, to 18 × 1.3-1.5 cm. Spathe almost erect, outside very pale whitish pinkish with scattered punctiform dark brown dots, with purple base, and margin sometimes reddish, inside dark pink, campanulate, ca. 18 × 10 cm, base minutely verruculose. Spadix sessile, longer than spathe, 23-24 cm; flowers unisexual, naked; female zone cylindric, 4-4.5 × 1.5-2 cm, flowers congested; ovary pink to reddish pink, obconic, ca. 3 mm high, ca. 2 mm in diam., 1-loculed; style almost absent; stigma nearly sessile, yellow, strongly depressed, disciform, ca. 0.5 mm high, ca. 3 mm in diam., wider than ovary, slightly 5- or 6-lobed to irregularly 8-lobed; male zone cylindric or slightly obconic, 6.5-7 × 2.6-3.7 cm; male flower consisting of 4 or 5 stamens; stamens almost entirely free, ca. 2 × 1.5 mm; filaments ca. 1 mm; anthers off-white with a pinkish apex, truncate, ca. 1 mm; pores apical, slightly elongate; appendix off-white or pale pink, fusiform-conic, laterally compressed in larger individuals, ca. 11 × 5 cm, smooth. Fruit red when mature, ovoid, ca. 1.5 cm × 5 mm. Fl. Apr, fr. May-Nov.
● Forest margins, tropical thickets; 900-1100 m. W Yunnan (Longchuan).
This species is cultivated as a food crop in the valleys of the Nanwan and Husa rivers of the Irrawaddy system.
The species status of Amorphophallus xiei is doubted by one of us (Hetterscheid). It differs only in color from A. bulbifer Blume (N, NE, and S India), an otherwise variable species forming a close relationship with A. muelleri Blume (NE India, N Thailand southward to the lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia). Both species also produce the same epiphyllar bulbils unique in Amorphophallus. Molecular analysis indicates that A. xiei is most closely related to A. bulbifer, if not just a somaclonal variant of it (both A. bulbifer and A. muelleri are apomicts with 2n = 39) taken up for cultivation and possibly escaped to non-agricultural terrain.