Scientific name

Bucephalandra Schott

Common names




Native distribution

endemic to Borneo

Species cultivated

Numerous varieties are known by informal names associated with their appearance or collection locality. The taxonomy of this group is dynamic at present, with new species being described.

Bucephalandra gigantea Bogner

B. motleyana Schott

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


emergent or temporarily submerged, rhizomatous, obligate rheophytic herbs

Brief description

Small aroid herb. Stem creeping, apex upright; rhizomatous. Leaves numerous; petiolar sheath with long marcescent ligule; leaf blade variable, often lanceolate, elliptic to oblong; base attenuate; margin smooth to undulate; often punctate below; venation pinnate. Inflorescence a spathe and spadix on emersed and submersed plants; peduncle subequal to petiole at anthesis, elongating later. Spathe ellipsoid, not constricted; lower broadly funnel-form; encloses developing fruits, variously senescing then caducous; limb white, pink, or yellow. Spadix shorter than spathe. Berry globose to ellipsoid.

Natural habitat

rheophytic in tropical humid forests, usually in or along streams

Additional comments

A genus of only two accepted species, Bucephalandra gigantea and B. motleyana. Largely wild harvested, there is a concern of over-harvesting.