views updated May 17 2018

Araceae A major family of monocotyledons (Monocotyledoneae), comprising tiny to giant herbs and many bole climbers, which produce sap with irritant crystals. The leaves commonly have netveins. Flowers are borne in a spike (spadix) subtended by an often colourful spathe; they are small, usually unisexual, the male apical (see RACEME), and usually lack a perianth. The fruit is a berry. There are 106 genera, and about 2950 species, with pantropical distribution (especially America), with temperate outliers.


views updated Jun 08 2018

Zantedeschia (family Araceae) A genus of 6 species of tropical African plants, which includes Z. aethiopica, the florists' arum lily.