Killi Shrimp Plant species Enclycloaquaria CoF Invert Taxa

Original description of Cryptocoryne ideii

A new species of Cryptocoryne (Araceae) from Kalimantan, Indonesia

Hendra Budianto (Indonesia) and Jan D. Bastmeijer (the Netherlands)


A new species of Cryptocoryne, C. ideii Budianto, from Central Kalimantan (Indonesia) is described and illustrated. It differs from C. pygmaea by a green upper surface of the leaf blade and a light green underneath, a truncate base of the leaf blade, an undulated margin, a smooth upper surface of the limb of the spathe with a high collar zone, a relatively long style and a chromosome number of 2n = 20 (C. pygmaea 2n = 34).

Cryptocoryne is a genus of about 50 species, distributed from India to southern China and New Guinea. Most species, namely18 species and varieties are found on Borneo (Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan) (Bastmeijer 2004; Jacobsen 1982, de Wit 1990).


Cryptocoryne ideii Budianto sp. nov. – Eine neue Cryptocoryne-Art (Araceae) aus Kalimantan (Indonesien) – Aqua Planta 29(4): 124-130. Holotype: Indonesia, Central Kalimantan, Tanjung Jariangao, southwest of Kuala Kuayan, 01º53’58’’ S, 112º33’21’’ E. 29 June 2004, Idei B-10A (BO; isotypi L, C, M, K). Differt a Cryptocoryne pygmaea lamina folii viridis supra et viridis clarus sub, basis folii truncata et margo undulatus, lamina spathae leave supra, areae colli alta, in relatio stylus longus, numerus chromosoma 2n = 20 (C. pygmaea 2n = 34).

Rhizome c. 0.6 cm in diameter, with long to short internodes; runners long, slender. Leaves 18-24 cm long, leaf blade 8-12 cm long and 1.5-2.3 cm wide, grass green on the upper surface with a pale main vein and lighter on the lower surface, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, the base is truncate and the apex acute, the margin is undulated; petiole 10-16 cm long; young leaves are lighter green. Cataphylls in flowering specimen up to 3 cm. Peduncle 1-3 cm long. Spathe 4.0-6.5 cm long, the lower part cream-colored outside; the limb or the spathe acute, 3-5 cm long and 0.4-0.7 cm wide in the lower part, a half turn twisted, open for the lower1.5-3 cm and ending in a more or less upright tail, outside olive-green to red purple colored and smooth, inside red and smooth, margins of the limb smooth; collar zone distinct, slightly brighter red than the limb inside. Tube between the kettle and the limb of the spathe very short to absent. Kettle ellipsoid, 0.9-1.1 cm long and 0.5-0.6 cm in diameter, translucent, white inside; Spadix 0.8-0.9 cm, with 4-5 (6) female flowers in one circle at the base; stigmas ovate on a relative long style, outwards bent; olfactory bodies regularly rounded, yellowish; naked spadix between the female and male flowers 0.4 cm long; male flowers 20-30, yellowish; appendix 0.1 cm, whitish with a few red dots. Pollen fertility 100%. Syncarp ovoid, 0.8 cm high, brownish, peduncle 3 cm (probably the syncarps of the type material are immature). Chromosome number 2n=20. Emersed cultivated specimen may show a dark green marmorated pattern on the upper side of the leaves. The base of the leaves may be acute to rounded.


Cryptocoryne ideii is only known from the type locality. There are indications that plants found near Sekadau and Muara Teweh may be the same species.


At the type locality Cryptocoryne ideii grows in a ca. 5 m wide, slowly running river, meandering through a secondary forest as a tributary of the Mentaya river. C. ideii grows in big patches from the banks down to a depth of 50 cm in a soil of leaf-peat more or less mixed with a brown-white mud. They flowered in very shallow water where the limb stands out of the water and the kettle is buried for 2/3 in the soil. The pH range is from 4.6-5.3. C. ideii grows together Cryptocoryne fusca De Wit, the latter however prefers deeper water.


Flies of the family Phoridae were found as pollinator in the kettle of the spathe. They are exactly 1 mm long, measured from head to abdomen (without ovipositor; there were only females).


Cryptocoryne ideii is known with certainty only from the type locality. Due to the transportation of rattan (mostly species of the genus Calamus, Arecaceae) patches of C. ideii are torn loose, but these will probably settle downstream. A severe future risk may be coal mining and oil palm plantation in the region.


The chromosome number of 2n=20 of Cryptocoryne ideii is surprising as most species from Borneo have 2n=34. This number is up to now known for three species of Cryptocoryne, also from Borneo, C. striolata Engler, C. hudoroi Bogner & Jacobsen and C. keei N. Jacobsen. These three species differ very much from C. ideii in both the leaves and the spathe, however C. striolata is reported from the same area (Jacobsen 1985). Probably it is best regarded as a parallel evolution towards lower chromosome numbers.

Cryptocoryne ideii has a striking resemblance to C. pygmaea Merrill from the Philippines. The latter has also narrow lanceolate leaves with a more or less rounded base, but the leaves are more or less brownish marmorated/streaked and have a purplish lower side of the leaves. The limb of the spathe of C. pygmaea is more rough inside, its also lacks a prominent collar and it has a short, mostly oblique limb of the spathe. The chromosome number of C. pygmaea is 2n = 34. (Bastmeijer & Morco 2000).

Cryptocoryne ideii differs in several aspects from the in West- and Central-Kalimantan widely distributed C. fusca De Wit. The latter has broad ovate leaves with a cordate base that usually are distinctly hairy on the lower surface and along the margins; the spathe ends in a longer, gradually narrowed, twisted limb; the inner surface of the limb is very rugose and lacks a collar. The kettle of C. fusca is constricted in the upper part caused by a thickening of the kettle wall. Moreover the chromosome number 2n=34. (Bastmeijer 1993).

The with Cryptocoryne fusca related species from Sarawak, C. ferruginea Engler differs in the leaves and spathe even more. This species has broad ovate leaves also with hairs. The limb of the spathe opens with a short split and ends in a tail and the rough limb has a distinct, smooth collar. The typical conical, almost inflated kettle of C. ferruginea has also a constriction and has a dark purple color on the inside kettle wall. The chromosome number is also 2n=34. (Ørgaard & Jacobsen 1998).

The form of the spathe of Cryptocoryne ideii also resembles a form of C. alba De Wit with a red limb of the spathe, collected in Yahalawatta (Sri Lanka) very much, but the latter has a very rough inner surfacee of the limb and a distinct collar. The dull pale green, somewhat rough leaves of the latter are ovate with a distinct cordate base. C. alba has a chromosome number of 2n=36 (Bastmeijer & Kettner 1993).


This new species is named after its collector, Takashige Idei, who has his main interest in labyrinth fish (Anabantoidei), especially Betta and Parosphromenus species. For a number of years he contributed with his significant research to the knowledge of Cryptocoryne in Central- and South-Kalimantan.


We thank Anne-Marie Ramsdal for the chromosome count, Maike Wilstermann for the translation of the diagnose into Latin, Wolfgang Schacht for the identification of the pollinator, Line K. Jacobsen for the drawing and Josef Bogner for the translation of the text into German. This publication was only possible by the use of the internet between the authors and Takashige Idei, Suwidji Wongso (both in Indonesia) and Niels Jacobsen (Denmark).


Arends, J.J., Bastmeijer, J.D. & Jacobsen, N. 1982: Chromosome numbers and taxonomy in Cryptocoryne. - Nordic Journal of Botany 2: 453-463.
Bastmeijer, J.D. 1993: Das Pflanzenporträt: Cryptocoryne fusca De Wit. - Aqua-Planta 18(3) : 108-113.
Bastmeijer, J.D. 2004. The Crypts pages.
Bastmeijer, J.D. & Kettner, C. 1993: Die Cryptocorynen von Yahalawatta (Sri Lanka). - Aqua-Planta 18(1) : 30-31.
Bastmeijer, J.D. & Morco, H. 2000: Cryptocoryne pygmaea Merrill (Araceae) von Busuanga und Palawan (Philippinen). - Aqua-Planta 25(3) : 99-107.
Budianto, H. & Bastmeijer J.D. 2004: Eine neue Cryptocoryne-Art (Araceae) aus Kalimantan (Indonesien). – Aqua Planta 29(4): 124-130.
Jacobsen, N. 1982: Cryptocorynen. Alfred Kernen Verlag, Stuttgart.
Jacobsen, N. 1985: The Cryptocoryne (Araceae) of Borneo. - Nordic Journal of Botany 5: 31-50.
Ørgaard, M. & Jacobsen, N. 1998: SEM study of surface structures of the spathe in Cryptocoryne and Lagenandra (Araceae – Aroideae - Cryptocoryneae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 126: 261-289.
Wit, H. C. D. de 1990: Aquarienpflanzen. 2.ed. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.

Legend to the pictures and drawing in Aqua Planta 29(4): 124-130.

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page 124. Fresh collected spatha's of Cryptocoryne ideii from the type locality. Photo: T. Idei

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page 125. Top: Cultivated plant of Cryptocoryne ideii. Photo: S. Wongso
page 125. Bottom: Fresh collected plants of Cryptocoryne ideii. Photo: S. Wongso

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page 126. Preserved plants of Cryptocoryne ideii. Photo: J. Bastmeijer

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page 127. Center. Opened spathe of Cryptocoryne ideii. Note the distinct collar zone. Photo: H. Budianto

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page 128. Top. Opened kettle of Cryptocoryne ideii. Photo: S. Wongso
page 128. Bottom. Plant of Cryptocoryne ideii with not yet opened spatha's. Photo H. Budianto

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page 129.

  • A. whole plant, 1x;
  • B. spatha from the front, 2x; C. spathe in side view, 2x;
  • D. throat of the spathe, 4x;
  • E. opened kettle with female flowers (bottom) and the male flowers (top), 4x;
  • F. female flowers with olfactory bodies and a part of the naked axis of the spadix, 8x;
  • G. syncarp, 4x.
Line Drawing: K. Jacobsen

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page 130. Center. Ripe, opened syncarp of Cryptocoryne ideii, showing the seeds. Photo: H. Budianto

Copyright 2024 Richard J. Sexton
Aquatic Aroids