Some of the strangest and most fascinating plants in cultivation...

The Arum family (known botanically as Aroids) is an extremely diverse one; in terms of their global distribution, their habit (from climbers to aquatics to bulbs/tubers) and their size. What unites the genera in the aroid family is the flowering. Aroid flowers are typically very small are held on a structure called a spadix, which in turn is surrounded (at least partly) by a modified leaf called a spathe. The spathe and spadix are both parts of the inflorescence.

This Arum shows a typical aroid- the spadix is visible inside the spathe. My first aroid (and the first plant I started to grow) was Arisarum proboscideum, known commonly as 'The Mouse Plant' after the distinctive inflorescence which looks like the tail end of a mouse burrowing into the ground. However the first aroid genus I started to collect was Arisaema. The species in this genus are very diverse in form, as you will see as my aroid gallery develops. Since becoming interested in aroids I have discovered that the family has an extraordinary range of interesting 'tricks', such as using chemical reactions to make their own heat (thermogenesis), which make the aroids fascinating to study as well as grow!

I will try to give some information on the aroids featured on this website as I go along. However if you want a general book to introduce you to the wonder of the aroids I would strongly suggest that you buy a copy of 'Aroids: plants of the Arum family' by Deni Bown. This book covers various topics and relates them to specific aroids.