Taxonomic Position (according to Cronquist)
Origin and Distribution
Probably originated in tropical Asia, now widely cultivated and adapted in the tropical regions of the world.
Identifying Characters of the Family
- Stem modified into corm
- Inflorescence is spadix, covered by bract known as spathe
- Flowers are small or minute
- Fruit is berry
The family consists of nearly 100 genera and 1500 species located throughout the world. Mostly found in the wet and damp or shady places. The plants are mostly psciohytic in nature.
Botanical Description of the Family
Habit: Mainly herb, sometime climber, two types of aerial roots is found e.g. hanging and clinging roots. The underground stem is in the form of sympodial rhizome, corm or erect rootstock.
Root system: Adventitious roots, sometime modified into storage organ.
Stem: Modified into storage organ known as corm
Leaf; Leaves are simple, petiole is long and the base is converted into sheath. Reticulated venation.
Inflorescence: spadix having bract which is known as spathe.
Flower: Three types of flowers i.e. female, neuter and male flowers are present in the inflorescence. Pistillate flowers are found at the base while staminate flowers are found in the top and neuter one is found in the middle position.
Androecium: Generally six stamens are found in two whorls, filaments are very short and often fused with the base.
Gynoecium: Carpel 1-3, syncarpous, ovary superior, placentation is often parietal.
Seed: may or not be endospermic.
The cultivated aroids are under following five genus:
Table 1: Economically important crop plants of Araceae family
|Bangla Name||English Name||Scientific name||Importance|
|1||Bishkachu||Chinese Taro||Alocasia cucullata||vegetable|
|2||Mukhikachu||Taro/cocoyam||Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott||Vegetable|
|3||Salad-kachu||Giant Elephant Ear||Colocasia gigantia||Vegetable|
|4||Mankachu/Fankachu||Giant Taro||Alocasia macrorrhizon (L.)||Vegetable|
|5||Katakachu||Not known||Lasia spinosa||Vegetable|
|6||Oolkachu||Elephant-yam||Amorphophallus campanulatus||Edible corm|