The plant family Araceae was named and described as such by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in Genera Plantarum in 1789. The family is commonly referred to as the Arum Family and is the family of aroids.
As of 11-13-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 139 genera in this family.
The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri maintains the largest collection of Araceae in the world. There are many awesome experts specializing in this family and the Exotic Rainforest is an amazing site to visit. It is a privately-owned botanical garden in Northwest Arkansas specializing in members of the Araceae family. The website hasn’t been updated since January 2011, but it said their collection included 119 genera and nearly 3,700 species.
Araceae is one of my favorite plant families. I really like growing HUGE exotic plants with big leaves. We have had our ups and downs and being back in Missouri in a small home has limited what I can grow… It is much different than living at the mansion in Mississippi with five sunrooms. I want to try more but my space with the right conditions is somewhat limited, plus overwintering them would be a different problem… Here, the Colocasia rhizomes must be lifted in the fall and overwintered in the basement. I also move most of the Alocasia to the basement over the winter, the entire pot, where they normally don’t go completely dormant. I keep a few of the smaller plants upstairs as well as the Alocasia gageana.
For further information on this family of plants, please click on the links below. They take you directly to the page for the family. Plants of the World Online, in my opinion, is the most reliable database and makes updates on a regular basis. It’s all a work in progress just like we all are.
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN EXTENSION
Below are the members of the plant family Araceae I am currently growing, have grown, or observed in natural habitats. Clicking on the highlighted names will take you to their own pages.
I started growing Alocasia in 2009 while living at the mansion in Mississippi. I have grown 12 different species and cultivars, some with not-so-favorable results. I brought several with me when I moved back to the family farm in west-central Missouri in 2013. I still have Alocasia gageana, A. ‘Calidora’, A. ‘Mayan Mask’, and A. Portora’. If you click HERE, you will be redirected to the Alocasia page with a list of all the Alocasia I have grown. Clicking on their names will take you to their own pages.
I have been enjoying the Amorphophallus since 2017. I am still waiting for flowers. I am not sure, but it is probably Amorphophallus konjac.
I really enjoyed growing the Anthurium andraeanum while I was living in Mississippi. Its leaves and flowers lasted a very long time. I left it with a friend and fellow plant collector when I moved back to Missouri.
I went to the secluded woods to do some wildflower hunting in 2020 and found quite a few Arisaema dracontium (Green Dragon) and Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-In-The-Pulpit) for the first time. I found quite a few wildflowers I had not seen before.
The Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-In-The-Pulpit) were scattered throughout more areas than the A. dracontium.
There was a small colony of Arum italicum (Italian Arum) under a tree next to the fish pool in the back yard at the mansion in Mississippi. I brought a few of these with me when I moved back to west-central Missouri in 2013. They eventually fizzled out…
Caladium bicolor are great smaller growing members of the plant family Araceae and there are many colors to choose from. The Caladium ‘Strawberry Fields’ was a real standout in 2017 and seemed to glow in the shade.
I have grown nine different Colocasia from 2009 through 2021. Actually, most of them were when I lived in Mississippi. The only two I have grown in Missouri have been Colocasia esculenta and Colocasia Coffee Cups’. There was the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ whose name changed back to Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ (see below). The Colocasia esculenta are very productive and will almost drive you insane. They can get quite large in fertile and well-watered soil.
I came by this Dieffenbachia sequine ‘Camille’ when I was at Lowe’s in the summer of 2012 while living at the mansion in Mississippi. They had got in a shipment of combination planters that were all upside down. The plant manager offered me a box for $3.00 so I took her upon it. This was one of the plants in the box.
Although I purchased a Draculculus vulgaris (Dragon Arum) rhizome from a seller on Ebay in 2010, it could have been Sauromatum venosum. Dracunculus vulgaris, I think, normally have white markings on their leaves. This plant never had white markings on its leaves… I screwed up and left its rhizomes behind in the ground when I moved from Mississippi back to Missouri in February 2013… GEEZ! I bought Sauromatum venosum rhizomes in 2021 (see below).
I have a couple of Epipremnum aureum (Pothos) that were from my parent’s funerals. They are great plants for foliage but need to be repotted on occasion to keep them growing well. Plants growing in trees in rainforests get HUGE leaves while those grown as houseplants are juveniles and will not reach maturity in pots.
I grew the Leucocasia gigantea in 2009 and my first ‘Thailand Giant’ in 2012 while living in Mississippi. I grew the ‘Thailand Giant’ again in Missouri in 2018 and 2019 and they grew into very impressive plants. The scientific name changed from Colocasia gigantea back to Leucocasia gigantea, the name it was given in 1857. It was originally named Caladium giganteum in 1823.
Another popular houseplant, the Philodendron hederaceum is similar in many ways to its cousin, Epipremnum aureum (Pothos). It has smaller leaves that are normally either dark green or have a purplish color. They prefer hanging rather than being twined around the pot. I used to hang mine in the trees when I lived in Mississippi. Like the Pothos, they are popular gift plants.
I bought four Sauromatum venosum rhizomes (1/4″ diameter) from a seller on Ebay in June 2021. Two came up and two didn’t. More came up in 2022. It was weird that such small rhizomes could produce more. Now, we shall see how long it takes them to produce a flower. I don’t have a page for the Sauromatum venosum just yet.
I grew cultivars of Syngonium podophyllum and they did very well. Sadly, I gave up a lot of my plants in 2014 and had to start over. I haven’t brought any of these home again due to a temporary lack of space.
I took care of quite a few plants for friends of mine when I was living at the mansion in Mississippi and this Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum was one of them. It was an AWESOME specimen for sure! It was this pot that I the Alocasia gageana came up in with no explanation of how they got there. My friends said they never grew any Alocasia of any kind… I still have descendants of the Alocasia gageana.
I came about this Xanthosoma in a strange way. I was wanting another Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ in 2019 and found a seller on Ebay that had “bulbs” listed. Besides the fact they are rhizomes instead of bulbs, I thought it was weird he was selling them like that instead of tissue cultured plants like everyone else. I placed an order out of curiosity more than anything else. The plant came up and after a while, I knew something was weird… It turned out to be a Xsanthosoma of some sort but not even a man well versed in the genus could quite figure it out… The species he thought it was turned out to be a synonym of a species that he said didn’t have variegated leaves. This plant clearly had variegated leaves. Unfortunately, the rhizome didn’t survive the winter and I haven’t bought any more since.
So far, these are all the members of the Araceae I have experience with. I hope to add more.