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Published In: Genera Plantarum 23. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/26/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted

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ARACEAE (Arum Family)

Plants perennial, monoecious, less commonly dioecious (rarely perfect elsewhere). Leaves usually with a well-defined, broad blade, often with netted venation, and a petiole expanded into a sheath around the stem. Inflorescences consisting of a dense spike (spadix) partially surrounded by a large, sheathing bract (spathe), sometimes with a fetid odor. Flowers tiny, the staminate flowers above the pistillate ones. Perianth none (4B6 reduced tepals elsewhere). Staminate flowers with 2B6 stamens, the filaments very short. Pistillate flowers with 1 superior ovary, more or less embedded in the spadix. Ovaries with 1 to several ovules. Styles none or very short. Fruits berries (rarely dry elsewhere), the spadix usually ripening as a compound fruit. About 110 genera, about 2,950 species, worldwide, especially in the tropics.

Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus (L.) Nutt. was reported for the state by Eisendrath (1969), but Steyermark (1971) indicated that the Missouri population was deliberately planted. It differs from other Missouri Araceae in its cordate leaves and subglobose spadix. Missouri is to the south and west of the normal range of this species.


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1 Leaves divided into 3B15 leaflets 1 Arisaema
+ Leaves simple, sagittate (2)
2 (1) Leaves usually white or lighter green along the larger veins; veins forming a complex network over the entire leaf surface; berries red at maturity, not enclosed in the spathe 2 Arum
+ Leaves uniformly green, not lighter along the veins; veins pinnate, narrowly parallel and joined near the margin, sometimes forming an irregular network only near the margin; berries green to brown, enclosed in the spathe 3 Peltandra
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