Mapania cuspidata

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Mapania cuspidata


Leaves subcoriaceous, the lower ones reduced to bladeless sheaths, the upper ones very variable in shape and size, lorate to broadly linear, usually with 3 prominent nerves, scabrous on margins and keel beneath towards the apex, dark green above, paler beneath, pink to purplish when young, (3-)10-90 by (½-)3-7 cm, the apex not rarely notched and suddenly to rather gradually narrowed into an up to 10 cm long aculeate tail, the base contracted into a conduplicate ribbed petiole dilated into a scariously margined inflated sheath in the lower part. Inflorescence normally consisting of a single terminal spikelet, sometimes with 1-2(-4) digitately arranged sessile or peduncled lateral spikelets in the axils of the lower glumes. Flowers about as long as the glumes.


Asia-Tropical: Thailand (Thailand present), Bougainville present, Java only in the western part present, Lesser Sunda Is present, Solomons present, W. Flores: Paku, 500 m present
Thailand, Solomons (Bougainville), almost throughout Malesia, in Java only in the western part, Lesser Sunda Is. (W. Flores: Paku, 500 m, plant 1 m, locally gregarious, in rain-forest, Schmutz 4816).


In the Malay Peninsula the leaves are used as a remedy against fever.


In old stout specimens the old part of the stem has died off and the rosettes of leaves stand on thick stiff stilt roots. The flowers open late in the morning; the anthers hang on long filaments and fade rapidly.
OUDEMANS (1865), who described a specimen cultivated in the Amsterdam Botanical Garden, was the first who applied HASSKARL’S nomen nudum Pandanophyllum humile to the species described above. Herein he was followed by most subsequent authors, but STEUDEL (1855) had given a quite different interpretation (see under Hypolytrum humile p. 494). STEUDEL’S interpretation has to be followed.
The species is very variable, not only with regard to the shape and size of the leaf-blades, but also in the length and stoutness of the petioles and scapes, the size and number of spikelets, and even in the size of flowers and fruits. UITTIEN distinguished M. inopinata by the inflorescence consisting of (1-)3-5 spikelets, and referred it on this ground to sect. Halostemma. However, scapes bearing 2 or more spikelets (one or more in the axils of the lower normally empty glumes) are not rarely found in M. cuspidata, as was already observed by KURZ (1869), MIQUEL (1870), GOEBEL (), and CLARKE (1908). M. stolonifera UITTIEN is said to differ from M. cuspidata by the horizontal stolons, but a creeping, often branched rhizome is always present in completely collected old specimens of M. cuspidata.
The varieties UITTIEN distinguished were mainly based on the shape of the leaf-blades. They are connected by many intermediates. The intermediate form (var. petiolata) occurs throughout the area of the species, broad-leaved plants (var. cuspidata) have only been found in the western part, and narrow-leaved specimens (var. angustifolia) prevail in the Philippines and the Moluccas. Possibly they are only ecological forms.
The widest distributed species of the genus, of which Kern(F1. Males. I, 7, 1974, 466) expressly stated that it lacked in the Lesser Sunda Islands, the gap now being filled.


Merr. 1921: En. Born. p 65
UITTIEN 1936 – In: Rec. Trav. Bot. Néerl. p 280
Clarke 1907 – In: Philip. J. Sc. Bot 109
KERN 1968 – In: Back. & Bakh.f., Fl. Java 3. p 454
Ridl. 1906 – In: J. Str. Br. R. As. Soc. p 227
UITTIEN 1949 – In: Back., Bekn. Fl. Java, (em. ed.), 10. fam 246 p. 49
KURZ 1869 – In: J. As. Soc. Beng. p 82
S. T. BLAKE 1947 – In: J. Arn. Arb. p 211
KÜK. 1938 – In: Bot. Jahrb. p 261
Koord. 1911 – In: Exk. Fl. Java. p 203
HOLTT. 1947 – In: Gard. Bull. Sing. p 293
SCHEFF. 1874 – In: Nat. Tijd. N.I. p 90
Merr. 1921: En. Born. p 65
Clarke 1894 – In: Fl. Br Ind. p 683
Ridl. 1925 – In: Fl. Mal. Pen. p 174
VALCK. SUR. 1912 – In: Nova Guinea. p 711
MERR 1921: En. Born. p 64
Ridl. 1907 – In: Mat. Fl. Mal. Pen. (Monoc.). p 106
H. PFEIFF. 1928 – In: Mitt. Inst. Allg. Bot. Hamb. p 174
RIDL 1891 – In: J. Str. Br. R. As. Soc. p 14
Merr. 1921: En. Born. p 65
F.-VILL. 1923 – In: En. Philip. p 132
Ridl. 1925 – In: Fl. Mal. Pen. p 174
F.-VILL. 1922: Atlas. f. 268
Ridl. 1907 – In: Mat. Fl. Mal. Pen. (Monoc.). p 105
RIDL. & WINKL. 1910 – In: Bot. Jahrb. p 525
Ridl. 1906 – In: J. Str. Br. R. As. Soc. p 227
KUK. 1924 – In: Bot. Jahrb. p 56