Araceae Juss.

Aglaonema Schott

This genus is accepted, and its native range is NE. India to Papua New Guinea.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Chinese evergreen.
Tropical humid forest; terrestrial on forest floor, occasionally in deciduous forest or regrowth, also in humus deposits on limestone and in peat deposits.
NE. India to Papua New Guinea.
General Description
HABIT : evergreen herbs, sometimes robust, stem epigeal, erect and unbranched or creeping and often branched, internodes green, smooth, often rooting at the nodes. LEAVES : several, forming an apical crown. PETIOLE : sheath usually long. BLADE : ovate-elliptic, narrowly elliptic, rarely broadly ovate or sublinear, base often unequal, attenuate to rounded, rarely cordate, often with striking, silvery and pale green patterns of leaf variegation; primary lateral veins pinnate, often weakly differentiated, running into marginal vein, higher order venation parallel-pinnate. INFLORESCENCE : 1-9 in each floral sympodium. PEDUNCLE : shorter or longer than petiole, deflexing in fruit. SPATHE : ovate to ± globose, erect, boat-shaped to convolute, not differentiated into tube and blade, often apiculate, green to whitish, slightly to strongly decurrent, marcescent. SPADIX : cylindric to clavate, shorter or longer than spathe, stipe long to almost absent, female zone rather few-flowered, contiguous with and much shorter than male zone, male zone fertile to apex. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : stamens not forming clear floral groups, filaments usually distinct, connective thickened, thecae opposite, obovoid, short, dehiscing by apical pore or reniform transverse slit. POLLEN : inaperturate, ellipsoid, large (mean 52 µm.), range 37-67 µm.), exine essentially psilate. FEMALE FLOWER : ovary subglobose, 1-locular, ovule 1, anatropous, shortly ovoid, funicle very short, placenta basal, style short, thick, stigma broad, discoid, concave centrally. BERRY : ellipsoid, outer layer fleshy green but turning yellow, rarely white and finally red. SEED : ellipsoid, almost as large as berry, testa thin, ± smooth, tegmen inconspicuous, embryo large, endosperm absent.
A terrestrial forest floor plant with pinnate primary lateral veins and spadix with contiguous male and female zones. Differs from Aglaodorum in having an inflorescence with a short peduncle, female flowers in spirals, an erect or repent stem and basal placentation.

Very widely cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Native to:

Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam

Introduced into:

Chagos Archipelago, Comoros, Cook Is., Cuba, India, Puerto Rico, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuelan Antilles

Aglaonema Schott appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Hay [2049], Malaysia 59012.000 No
Hay, A. [2001], Malaysia 59067.000 No
Boyce, P.C. [906], Thailand 59592.000 No

First published in Wiener Z. Kunst 1829: 892 (1829)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.


CATE Araceae

  • Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. 1997. The genera of Araceae. 370 pp.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • CATE Araceae

    Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images