Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Alismatales

Araceae - Arum family


Dyer, R.A. (1976) The Genera of southern African flowering plants. Vol. 2 (Monocotyledons). Department of Agricultural Technical Services, Pre

Haigh, A. & Boyce, P. (2012) Araceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(1)

Hepper, F.N. (1973) Lemnaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa

Leistner, O.A. (ed.) (2000) Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera Strelitzia 10

Mayo, S.J. (1985) Araceae Flora of Tropical East Africa

Description of the family

Perennial, terrestrial, epiphytic or aquatic, herbs; sometimes the whole plant reduced to a minute flat or fleshy body (in the former Lemnaceae). Leaves alternate, 1-many, petiolate; petiole usually with a basal sheath; lamina simple or variously lobed. Inflorescence pedunculate, consisting of a fleshy ± cylindric spadix subtended by, or enclosed within, a sometimes showy spathe; or in the former Lemnaceae borne in a lateral cavity of the plant body or within lateral pouches. Spadix either uniform with bisexual flowers or monoecious with female flowers at base and male above; sterile flowers often present in various arrangements, sometimes forming a sterile apex. Bracts 0. Flowers minute, sessile; perianth cup-like or composed of 4-9 free or connate segments. Stamens opposite perianth segments, free or connate. Ovary usually superior, 1-many-locular, each loculus with 1-many ovules; stigma (sub)sessile. Fruit a 1-many-seeded berry, these often brightly coloured or a utricle in the former Lemnaceae.

Comment: This family has been expanded to include duckweeds which were formerly placed under Lemnaceae.

Worldwide: c.116 genera and over 3,300 species, mostly tropical and subtropical with a few temperate.

Zimbabwe: 7 cultivated genera and 8 cultivated taxa.

Colocasia esculenta

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Alocasia (Schott) G. Don
Colocasia SchottDescription
Monstera Adans.Description, Image
Pistia L.Description, Image
Syngonium Schott
Xanthosoma Schott
Zantedeschia Spreng.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Araceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Araceae
Flora of Caprivi: Araceae
Flora of Malawi: Araceae
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Araceae
Flora of Mozambique: Araceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Araceae
Flora of Zambia: Araceae
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Araceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Araceae

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Araceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Araceae.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=18, retrieved 24 October 2016

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