Araceae, a Family with Great Potential

  • Thomas B. Croat Missouri Botanical Garden
Keywords: Araceae, aroids, endemism, new species discovery, tropics


This paper highlights the most unique characteristics of Araceae: their high species diversity, high habit diversity, high rates of endemism, and high rates of new species discovery. Also discussed is the origin of the family in the Early Cretaceous period and its modern-day worldwide distribution, which shows high generic diversity in Asia and high species diversity in South America. The last 40 years have shown dramatic increases in the number of species known for most of the Neotropical genera but with most of the growth coming from Central America. The development of computerized determination keys has led to the realization that many more species are likely to be new to science. This study also recommends future directions and localities or regions where most aroid research should be concentrated.


Click here to read this article on BioOne.