This is a very common tropical family with 108 genera and 2,830 species. Its diversity is tremendous, from the plant with the largest infloresence at over 6 feet (Amorphophallus titanum) and native to indonesia, to the very tiny duckweed (Lemna & Wolfia) which has the smallest flowers of all flowering plants. Most people, are also probably very familiar with this plant family as the common Pothos spp. This vine is used indoors as a green foliage plant that can withstand low lights. Almost all plants, however, should not be eaten (or used as toilet paper) as all parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals (raphids), that cause severe irritation.
Other members of this group are water lettuce (Pistia stratiotest), skunk cabbage, Dieffenbachia, and Monstera. In Hawaii, a stable crop, Taro, is a type of Araceae where the tubers are taken and cooked to make Poi.
Systematics: Flowers have a fleshy spadix covered by a spathe. Flowers are very tiny and inconspicious. Flowers are usually bisexual, usually having 2 stamen on either side of one pistil. Leaves are alternate, simple. There are however, many exceptions to these rules. The most distinctive feature is the spathe and spadix infloresence structure.
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