Amorphophallus maximus (Engl.) N.E. Br.
subsp. fischeri (Engl.) Ittenb. ex Govaerts & Frodin

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Amorphophallus maximus subsp. fischeri

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Kariba

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Synonyms: Amorphophallus fischeri (Engl.) N.E. Br.
Amorphophallus schliebenii Mildbr.
Hydrosme fischeri Engl.
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial herb with annual growth from a white to cream, flattened tuber, up to 9 cm in diameter. Leaf solitary, appearing after the inflorescence on a stout petiole up to 1 m long; blade compound, 40-120 cm wide with ultimate leaflets elongate, 10-19 cm long. Inflorescence foul smelling; peduncle 20-130 cm long, dark greyish-green with numerous elongate markings. Spathe 18-23 cm long, divided by a strong constriction into a globose tube and a more or less ovoid to triangular limb, chestnut-brown to purple on both surfaces. Spadix more or less twice as long as the spathe, 20-51 cm long with the appendix long conical. Infructescence cylindrical, c. 14 cm long; berries ovoid, 5-9 mm long when dry.
Notes: Easily distinguished when in flower by the tall inflorescence.
Derivation of specific name: maximus: referring to the inflorescence with the tallest peduncle;
fischeri: named after Dr Gustav Fischer (1848-1886), German doctor and naturalist, who collected in Kenya and Tanzania.
Habitat: On dark loamy soils,often near river or lake margins.
Altitude range: Up to 1500 m
Flowering time:Oct - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Malawi distribution: ?
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
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Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 246 - 247. as Amorphophallus fischeri (Includes a picture).

Haigh, A. & Boyce, P. (2012). Araceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(1) Pages 45 - 46.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 85. as Amorphophallus fischeri

Other sources of information about Amorphophallus maximus subsp. fischeri:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Amorphophallus maximus subsp. fischeri
Flora of Zimbabwe: Amorphophallus maximus subsp. fischeri

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Amorphophallus maximus
African Plant Database: Amorphophallus maximus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Amorphophallus maximus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Amorphophallus maximus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Amorphophallus maximus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Amorphophallus maximus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Amorphophallus maximus
JSTOR Plant Science: Amorphophallus maximus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Amorphophallus maximus
Plants of the World Online: Amorphophallus maximus
Tropicos: Amorphophallus maximus
Wikipedia: Amorphophallus maximus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Amorphophallus maximus subsp. fischeri., retrieved 14 April 2024

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