Scientific name

Anubias Schott

Common names




Could be confused with

unlikely to be confused with any other genus

Native distribution

West Africa

Species commonly cultivated

(eight species plus numerous cultivated varieties and hybrids)

Anubias afzelii Schott (Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali)

A. barteri Schott (Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea)

A. gigantea A. Chev. (Equ. Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cameroon)

A. gilletii De Wild. & T. Durand (Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Zaire)

A. gracilis A. Chev. (Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone)

A. hastifolia Engl. (Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zaire)

A. heterophylla Engl. (Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Zaire)

A. pynaertii de Wild. (Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Zaire)

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


emergent, amphibious, creeping, broad leaved plant

Brief description

Slow-growing perennial. Roots produced along creeping rhizome. Leaves alternate, petiolate, sheathed basally; leaf blade ovate to lanceolate, venation with lateral veins appearing parallel; base cordate to deeply sagittate; margin entire or slightly undulate. Inflorescence a spadix, subtended by a spathe; spathe convolute, tubular or open almost to base, not twisted; spadix of variable length. Flowers unisexual; perianth absent. Dispersal by seed or stem fragments.

Natural habitat

marshes, stream and river banks, often shaded

Additional comments

Although eight species are recognized, there are numerous subspecies and cultivated varieties and hybrids available in the trade. Anubias barteri var. angustifolia (Engl.) W. Crusio has previously been sold as A. afzelii.