Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Remusatia vivipara (Roxb.) Schott

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Leaf [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Inflorescence [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Stolon showing bulbils [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Herbarium sheet. © CSIRO
Herbarium sheet. © CSIRO

Schott, H.W. & Endlicher, S.F.L. in Schott, H.W. & Endlicher, S.L. (1832) Meletemata Botanica 1: 18.

Common name

Hitchhiker Elephant Ear


Lithophytic or epiphytic, seasonaly dormant, up to 50 cm tall with a small tuber 2-4 cm diam. Shoots few, erect and unbranched 10-30 cm tall bearing spaced clusters of bulbils, spike-like; bulbils 2-5 mm long, with scales having hooked tips.


Leaves broadly ovate, usually solitary but sometimes 2, cordate with rounded lobes at base, obtuse and shortly acuminate, distinctly peltate; lamina ca. 20 cm long with a 15-25 cm long petiole, erect.


Spathe 7-11 cm long; tube ovoid, 2-4 cm long and strongly constricted above; blade subcircular, 6-8 cm long, cream coloured, reflexed. Spadix 3-4.5 cm long; basal female region ca. 2 cm long; middle sterile region ca. 1-1.1 cm long and the upper male region 1-1.2 cm long, club-shaped, without sterile tip.


Fruit unknown. The bulbils appear on spike-like shoots which may seem fruit-like.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Known from a few locations in NT, CYP and NEQ. Usually occurs in primary or secondary rainforest on rocks or trees, or as a terrestrial. Altitudinal range recorded from 50 to 400 m.

Natural History & Notes

Vegetative propagation by bulbils produced on shoots is very common, fruiting is very rare.

Arum viviparum Roxb., Hortus Bengalensis : 65(1814), Type: Inde.
RFK Code
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