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Heteropsis oblongifolia


Native to:



Southern Central America, northern and central South America.

Low-lying terrain and secondary forests. Up to 500 meters above sea level. 10 feet tall solitary palm.

Heteropsis oblongifolia

Ecological value:

The plant is eaten by Black capuchin (Sapajus nigritus), who have been listed as Near Threatened by ICUN, due to habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade. Fast growing. Species in this family are generally pollinated by insects.

Material uses:

This vine has extremely strong and flexible roots used as a fiber and string,
used in basketry and wicker-work.

Edible uses:

No record on this species.

Medicinal use:

Unspecified medicinal value.

Other details:

Used as an ornamental plant. Belongs to the Araceae family, in which flowers are borne on a ‘spandex’ - a type of inflorescence (imagine flower of Peace Lily plant). Many plants in this family produce heat as a way of attracting pollinators - their flowers can reach up to 45 °C.


Maria Gabriela Cano Pinzon/Christine Facella


Wildlife as Canon sees it. n.a.. National Geographic Magazine, June 2008.
“Heteropsis Oblongifolia Kunth - Encyclopedia of Life.” n.d. Accessed November 12, 2023.
“Plants» Selina Wamucii.” n.d. Selina Wamucii. Accessed November 12, 2023.
Korotkova, Nadja; Barthlott, Wilhelm. "On the thermogenesis of the Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum)". Plant Signaling & Behavior. 4, 2009
Image source: Alex Popovkin

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