Culcasia seretii (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
List of species

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Culcasia seretii De Wild.

Protologue: Pl. Bequaert. 1: 172 (1922).
Family: Araceae
Chromosome number: 2n = 42 (hexaploid)


  • Culcasia bequaertii De Wild. (1922),
  • Culcasia sapinii De Wild. (1922).

Origin and geographic distribution

Culcasia seretii occurs from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia eastward through Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, southern Nigeria and Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and DR Congo.


Stems are used as tying material in construction.

Production and international trade

Culcasia seretii is only used locally.


Climbing, slender, diffuse herb up to 5 m tall; stems 2–4 mm in diameter, rough, brown, with conspicuous adventitious roots up to 2 cm long. Leaves alternate, simple and entire; petiole slender, 5.5–13 cm long including sheath of up to 7 cm, gradually narrowing; blade linear-elliptical to oblong-elliptical, 9–28 cm × 2–7 cm, base cuneate and decurrent, apex long-acuminate, deep glossy green, copper-coloured when young, lateral veins conspicuous, in 6–10 pairs merging into a conspicuous marginal vein or 2 basal pairs extending to apex, latex ducts few, with internal, translucent glands. Inflorescence a spadix, solitary or in groups of up to 4 per node, 2.5–4.5 cm long, cylindrical, slightly clavate at apex, exceeding the spathe at flowering, white or creamy, on c. 7 mm long stipe, male part 2–2.5 cm long, of which 0.5–1 cm with pink sterile flowers, female part shorter, 5–8 mm wide, no free space between male and female part; spathe up to 4 cm × 1.5 cm, basal 2.5 cm convolute, gaping apically at flowering, deep bronze-green outside, slightly paler with darker stripes inside; peduncle slender, 6–20 cm × c. 2.5 mm, greenish bronze. Flowers unisexual and naked; male flowers reduced to 2–4 stamens, stamens 1–2 mm long; female flowers reduced to a depressed globose ovary, 2–3 mm high, with stigma sessile, discoid, 1–1.5 mm in diameter. Fruit a spherical to ellipsoid berry 10–22 mm × 6–15 mm, dull orange or red. Seed ellipsoid, c. 8 mm × c. 4 mm, greenish brown, testa thin, smooth.

Culcasia comprises about 27 species and is restricted to tropical Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Angola.


Culcasia seretii occurs at 150–800 m altitude in shady places in dense humid forest, in the undergrowth of secondary forest or along water courses.


Culcasia seretii is only collected from the wild.

Genetic resources

Culcasia seretii has a wide area of distribution and does not seem in danger of genetic erosion, except where its habitat is disturbed.


Culcasia seretii is likely to remain of incidental use.

Major references

  • Boyce, P., 1995. Culcasia seretii. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 12(3): 138–140.
  • Hepper, F.N., 1967. Culcasia scandens P.Beauv. (Araceae) and allied species in West Africa. Kew Bulletin 21(2): 315–326.
  • Knecht, M., 1983. Aracées de la Côte d’Ivoire - Contribution à l’étude biosystématique des représentants d’Aracées de la Côte d’Ivoire. Phanerogamarum Monographiae 17. 290 pp.
  • Ntépé-Nyame, C., 1988. Araceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 31. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 140 pp.
  • Tra Bi, F.H., 1997. Utilisations des plantes, par l’homme, dans les forêts classées du Haut-Sassandra et de Scio, en Côte d’Ivoire. Thèse pour obtenir le Doctorat de troisième cycle, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Cocody, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 215 pp.

Other references

  • Hepper, F.N., 1968. Araceae. In: Hepper, F.N. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 3, part 1. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 112–127.
  • Tra Bi, F.H., Kouamé, F.N. & Traoré, D., 2005. Utilisation of climbers in two forest reserves in West Côte d’Ivoire. In: Bongers, F., Parren, M.P.E. & Traoré, D. (Editors). Forest climbing plants of West Africa. Diversity, ecology and management. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, United Kingdom. pp. 167–181.


  • L.P.A. Oyen, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

Oyen, L.P.A., 2010. Culcasia seretii De Wild. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <>.

Accessed 6 March 2020.