What in the world is an aroid??

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by photopro, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever grown a Caladium or a Calla lily in your yard? How about a "pothos" on your bathroom or kitchen counter? Have you ever been given a Spathyphyllum (Peace lily) as a gift? Then guess what? You've already been introduced to the world of aroids!

    Although known by a variety of scientific and generic terms including Araceae, aroid and Arum, these plants are generally known as aroids to collectors. And the plant families that are aroids includes numerous genera and species! Philodendron, Anthurium, Alocasia, Colocasia, Epipremnum, Xanthosoma, Caladium, Spathyphyllum, Arisiaema, Amorphophallus and numerous other genera are all members of the larger family collectors call aroids.

    So what makes all the species an aroid? The common factor is all of these plants have a very similar reproductive method. They all produce a spathe and spadix which you have likely called a "flower". Have you ever taken a trip to Hawaii and brought home one of those beautiful little Anthurium plants with the bright red, pink, yellow or white strange looking flowers on a long "stem"? That "flower" is not a flower at all! To a scientist it is known as a spathe and the portion at the center is known as the spadix. The spathe is actually nothing more than a modified leaf whose purpose is to protect the spadix. Why? Because the spadix, when ready to reproduce, is filled with both male and female flowers which are quite small. And given the right circumstances, and the introduction of an appropriate insect pollinator, those flowers will produce berries that contain seeds for the plant's reproduction. A most unique reproductive method, and thus, a most unique group of plant specimens!

    Many aroids don't grow in the ground at all! Species in the genus Philodendron and Anthurium are often found up in the branches of a tree! But there are plenty of other aroids that do grow in soil.

    So if you have a question about a plant with a spathe, place it in this forum. There are a fair number of "fanatics" on UBC that grow aroids and we all enjoy trading information. And most enjoy trying to answer your questions. And just in case you've never grown an aroid of any kind........... join us! You'll find them fascinating! And promise, we'll try to keep the explanations as simply as possible!
     
  2. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for all your information, you do it so well!
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I just enjoy sharing aroids with everyone! Glad you liked it, and I'm always glad to help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007
  4. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Wow, I have grown many aroids but didn't know it! I've learned something new! Cool!
    And I have always been drawn to them. Interesting....
     
  5. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Thats exactly what we are after Karalyn. We knew there were a lot of people out there growing aroids and they didn't even know. Welcome

    Ed
     

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