Araceae Juss.

Arum L.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Macaronesia, Europe, Medit. to W. China, Taiwan.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Temperate and warm temperate woodland, up to 4400m alt.; geophytes, forest floor, hedges, orchards, stony open ground, along rivers, open scrub, pastures, abandoned areas.
Macaronesia, Europe, Medit. to W. China.
Seasonally dormant, rhizomatous or tuberous geophytes. Leaf blade sagittate or hastate, with reticulate venation. Spadix usually with zone of sterile flowers between male and female zones, more rarely with fertile zones contiguous or with naked axis between zones; spadix with smooth terminal sterile appendix. Placentation parietal to subbasal.
General Description
HABIT : seasonally dormant herbs, tuber hypogeal, subglobose or rhizomatous and horizontal. LEAVES : 3-4(-6) in each sympodial unit. PETIOLE : sheath long to short. BLADE : cordate ( A. pictum) or hastate-sagittate to sagittate; primary lateral veins pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein, at least 1 marginal vein also present, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : 1, rarely 2 in each floral sympodium, usually appearing with leaves, rarely just before ( A. pictum), hidden within foliage or fully exposed above leaves. PEDUNCLE : much shorter to much longer than petiole. SPATHE : marcescent, usually strongly constricted between tube and blade, rarely not, tube convolute, cylindric to ellipsoid, blade ovate- or oblong-lanceolate to lanceolate, ± acuminate, at anthesis erect and boat-shaped or widely expanded or patent and ± revolute. SPADIX : shorter to longer than spathe, sessile, female zone cylindric, interstice separating male and female zones usually short, rarely absent, usually covered with sterile flowers (pistillodes), rarely naked, male zone cylindric, conoid, ellipsoid or subglobose, interstice separating appendix and male zone usually covered with sterile flowers (staminodes), rarely absent, terminal sterile appendix usually stipitate, then gradually or suddenly dilated into a conoid or cylindric club, sometimes slender. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-4-androus, filaments very short but distinct, connective slender, thecae shortly obovoid, opposite or subopposite, dehiscing by apical pore-like slit, rarely porose ( A. pictum). POLLEN : usually presented in a loose, powdery mass, sometimes extruded in strands ( A. pictum, A. nigrum), grains inaperturate, spherical to subspheroidal, medium-sized (mean 32 µm., range 29-34 µm.), exine spinose, rarely scabrous ( A. korolkowii). STERILE FLOWERS : (staminodes and pistillodes) consisting of basal, ± hemispheric, swollen, verrucose to smooth portion bearing usually one (sometimes more) erect, ± straight, subulate to filiform processes. FEMALE FLOWER : gynoecium oblong, obtuse, ovary 1-locular, ovules 6-more, orthotropous, lageniform, biseriate, funicle short, placenta parietal to subbasal, style short, as broad as ovary, stigma subhemispheric, exuding nectar drop at anthesis. BERRY : obovoid, pericarp juicy, many-seeded, bright glossy orange-red. SEED : ellipsoid to ovoid, testa rugose, especially towards base, with large, succulent obconic strophiole, embryo axile, straight, endosperm copious.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Is., Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kriti, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madeira, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Sicilia, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, Xinjiang, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Argentina Northeast, California, Illinois, Missouri, New York, New Zealand North, North Carolina

Arum L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
58820.000 No

First published in Sp. Pl.: 966 (1753)

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

    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

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