Thursday, 14 February 2008


ARACEAE or Arum Family
This family is a from Monocot.
Members are all herbs long been cultivated by man and used as vegetables.
Vegetative characters:Mostly perennial, terrestrial and tuberous herbs and climbing shrubs rooting on trees.Others are true epiphytes without connection with the soil. Some like Acorus and Lasia are marsh plants and Pistia is a floating aquatic herb.
In plants without aerial stems underground stems are developed in the form of root stocks,tubers or corms.The aerial stem when present shows monopodial branching as in Pothos,but usually it is sympodial.
The roots are adventitious.Two types of aerial roots: climbing and absorbent.
The Leaves are basal(e.g. Arisaema) or cauline and alternate(e.g.Pothos) and simple or sometimes compound as in (e.g. Arisaema).There is only a single leaf in some species of Arisaema. The leaves have a petiole,often large usually parallel veined and with membranous sheathing bases.
The plants are with milky or watery bitter sap.The crystals of calcium oxalate are usually present in the plant tissues.
Inflorescence and flowers:
Simple spadix enclosed by a herbaceous spathe-often large and bright.
The male flowers are generally at the top of the spadix and the female below.
The flowers are small ,ebracteate,bi or unisexual.actinomorphic and hypo or epigynous.Peiranth when present is of 4 to 6 segments in two equal series.Androecium has 2,4,or6 stamens opposite the perianth segments. The gynoecium is of one or more syncarpous carpels.
The fruit is usually a berry.The seeds are with copious endosperm.
The flowers are mostly pollinated with insects visiting them.
Examples and importance:
The corms and tubers are used as vegetables while some are grown for ornament for hte foliage.
Colocasia esculenta (AALU in Marathi)(syn.C. antiquorium)TARO :Cultivated for edible tubers.
Alocasia: use similar to above.
Amorphophallus campanulatus:(Suran In Marathi,Yam, Blume)again a vegetable.
Anthurium andreanum : Popular in flower arrangement.
Caladium: A garden plant.
Pistia stratiotes: a smallfloating herbgrown in aquaria and warm water gardens.

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