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: 13 cultivated genera and 14 cultivated taxa.

Colocasia esculenta

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

Alocasia (Schott) G. DonDescription
Anthurium Schott
Caladium Vent.
Colocasia SchottDescription
Epipremnum Schott
Monstera Adans.Description, Image
Montrichardia Crueg.Description
Philodendron Schott
Pistia L.Description, Image
Syngonium SchottDescription
Thaumatophyllum Schott
Xanthosoma SchottDescription
Zantedeschia Spreng.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Araceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Araceae
Flora of Caprivi: Araceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated 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:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Araceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=18, retrieved 4 December 2023

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