arum family also known as aroids

Araceae Family (arum family or aroids) update

The Araceae family or commonly known as the arum family or aroids, is a large family of flowering plants. It is one of the most diverse and widespread plant families, with over 3,750 recognized species belonging to approximately 120 genera.

These plants are found in various regions around the world like rainforests, swamps, and marshes, although they are most abundant in tropical and subtropical areas.  They are very diverse as they can be epiphytic (growing on other plants), terrestrial (growing in the ground), lithophytic (growing on rocks) and even aquatic (growing in water).  Some are relatively ease to care for, while others require more attention due to their specific habitat requirements.

Key characteristics of this plant family include having a wide range of leaf shapes and sizes.  They are mainly characterized by their inflorescence, a unique structure known as a spathe and spadix. The spathe is often a colorful, leaf-like bract that surrounds the spadix, a central, rod-like structure. The true flowers are found on the spadix.

Not only are these plants esthetically beautiful, but they also have air-purifying properties that make them an excellent houseplant choice.  Furthermore, some species are also edible.  Colocasia esculenta or taro and Xanthosoma spp. or elephant ear have been cultivated for years as a means of food support.

One very important thing to consider is their toxicity. Some of the plants have toxic compounds like oxalates and calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation and discomfort if consumed.  Hence, it is recommended to handle these plants with care and to keep them away from pets and children.

Some well-known genera in this family include monstera, anthuriums, philodendrons, alocasias, colocasia, Zantedeschia and more.

The Araceae family is so diverse that everyone can find a genus to fall in love with.

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