Family: Araceae

Family: Araceae

Aroid Family

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.

Fruit: Berry.

Floral formula:

Seed: may or not be endospermic.

The cultivated aroids are under following five genus:


  • Alocasia
  • Amorphophallus
  • Colocasia
  • Crytosperma
  • Xanthosoma


Table 1: Economically important crop plants of Araceae family

Serial number


Bangla NameEnglish NameScientific nameImportance


1BishkachuChinese TaroAlocasia cucullatavegetable
2MukhikachuTaro/cocoyamColocasia esculenta (L.) SchottVegetable
3Salad-kachuGiant Elephant EarColocasia gigantiaVegetable
4Mankachu/FankachuGiant TaroAlocasia macrorrhizon (L.)Vegetable
5KatakachuNot knownLasia spinosaVegetable


6OolkachuElephant-yamAmorphophallus campanulatusEdible corm



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