The largest collection of plants related to the aroid family is located in the Botanical Garden of Missouri, USA.Despite the many years of collecting activity of the research team and the ongoing research work, it has not yet succeeded in planting and raising all the representatives of the aroid members.
Yes, probably it is impossible. According to the existing classification, the largest family today includes 113 genera and almost two thousand species. The main part of these plants, among which there are both tree-like and grassy specimens, epiphytes and marsh inhabitants, creepers, gigantic and tiny species, lives in conditions of subtropics and tropics. But there are also known species that prefer to settle in temperate climates, settling in rather harsh areas, down to subarctic regions.
The history of studying and describing aroids began in the Middle Ages. The first who in the written works mentioned the individual plants of this family was Theophrastus, but until the XVI century there were no attempts to classify or unite the closely related types of attempts. Only in 1789, Antoine Laurent de Jussier, in describing his own view of plant families, declared the existence of common aroid features.
Heinrich Wilhelm Shott made a serious contribution to the classification of the family, publishing in the middle of the XIX century a number of works on this issue. But the approach of Schott was based on external similarity, therefore in 1876 and later, in 1920, the system received a lot of refinements and on the basis of the structure of plants and other morphological features. It is interesting that scientists still cannot achieve unity, therefore a number of plants and whole species sometimes change their belonging and their names.
So what are aroid plants? What common features do they have, and what types are well known to flower growers, keen on decorative indoor crops?
Aroid plants: what is it?
Most aroid plants are distinguished by the almost complete absence of true stems, whose functions are performed by modified rhizomes. The only exceptions are creepers, thanks to the tenacious air roots that easily climb up vertical surfaces and develop larger plants for living.
It is interesting that such aerial roots, as in one of the varieties of epipremnum, not only help to maintain heavy long shoots, but also nourish the plant, sucking in atmospheric moisture, and if possible, rooting.
Therefore, when growing indoor aroid plants, they are by no means removed, but instead are used to feed and maintain the viability of long shoots.
at home Leaves of wild-growing and indoor aroid plants form alternately. Moreover, in most species, there is a pronounced petiole, and leaf plates strike with a variety of sizes, colors and shapes, as in the world-recognized, represented in the photo of the indoor aroid plant with the name of caladium. In addition to evenly colored whole leaves, in aroid leaves one can find fancifully dissected, corrugated, variegated and unusually structured leaf plates.
It is precisely because of this diversity and brightness that members of the family showed interest as indoor, ornamental plants.
As for flowering, unlike the foliage that affects the bizarre forms, there is no diversity here. All aroid plants, whether indoor or species growing in nature, form an inflorescence in the form of a cob, consisting of very densely arranged small flowers. At the same time, on the cob the line between male and female flowers is clearly visible. However, in some species the flowers are bisexual.
With a common structure of the inflorescences, their appearance and size can vary considerably, and most of them often give the impression of a large single flower, misleading the lovers of houseplants, and even insects that pollinate such inflorescences.
The perianth gives decorativeness and resemblance to the flower to the inflorescence, depending on the type and variety of the plant, having different colors, shapes and sizes. Often flowering is extremely surprising. And people who are not dedicated to especially aroid plants, ask: "What is it?" In fact, this is not an exotic orchid, or a skillful creation of a jeweler, but the inflorescence of Anafilum from India.
This gigantic inflorescence, which has entered the Book of Records, belongs to the gigantic amorphous phallus. The size of the ear, uniting up to five thousand flowers, in this case reaches 2–3 meters and is highly protruding beyond the limits of the purple-green perianth.
The flowers in the inflorescence are significantly smaller, only 5–9, and the dimensions here do not exceed 10 mm. Almost the same inconspicuous inflorescence gives another type of aroid plants - ambrosine.
In most species of naturally occurring and indoor aroid plants, the perianth partially or completely hides the cob, performing a protective function and, at the same time, attracting the attention of insect pollinators to the inflorescence.
At the same time, evolution went so far that plants appeared with blankets, traps, which allowed to keep insects near female flowers, until the pollination process was safely completed.
The peculiar insect deception is not limited to the special form of the coverlet or its bright colors, like those of anthurium, an aoid indoor plant, whose name and photo are well known to flower growers.
Some plants in the extensive family produce an attractive scent. An example of this is the beloved Calla.
But there are plants that attract a specific group of pollinators - flies. Therefore, these species have to resort to completely unexpected methods and measures. A rare feature of the aroid is the ability to raise the temperature of the cob to 30–45 ° C, which from the heated surface of the flowers volatile aromatic substances begin to actively evaporate, spreading the strong smell around the district for several hours.
Not only the already mentioned titanic amorphofallus, but also Symplocarpus foetidus, Helicodiceros muscivorus and Sauromatum venosum, which bloom is represented in the photo, "use" this technique. Interestingly, despite the smell, this arooid plant is a room culture that is popular with fans of exotic species.
At the same time it is important for flower growers who are interested in this family to remember that aroid indoor plants are poisonous. Calcium oxalate is found in all parts of the plant, from tubers, rhizomes and stems to leaves and inflorescences, which has a sharp irritating effect on the skin and mucous membranes.
In various forms, the concentration of this substance may vary, but when caring for aroid indoor plants, as in the photo, accompanied by direct contact, it is better to use gloves, and after completing the work, wash your hands.
Photos and names of indoor aroid plants
Thanks to their spectacular appearance, many varieties of aroid plants are indoor plants that enjoy the love of a multimillion army of amateur growers.
Among the many photos and names of houseplants of the Aroid family, experts will certainly note the anthurium with glossy dense bracts of all shades of purple, scarlet, pink, and now white.
Sincere love gardeners enjoy a variety of varieties of spathiphyllus, differing in size of the plants themselves and elegant white inflorescences.
Monsters, philodrendrons and large species of alokazy attract attention with extremely unusual foliage, although the grower will have to pick up a rather spacious room to grow such crops, because large specimens can show true beauty. But small alokazii are quite appropriate in a residential interior, and in a public building.
Aglaonema has no carved foliage and does not stand out with bright blooms, but the paints of its heart-shaped foliage will be envied by the palette of any artist.
The same can be said about the leaves of an indoor aroid plant such as caladium.
In addition to multimeter giants, and plants suitable for growing in indoor pots, there are true dwarfs in the family. For example, a piste is a plant demanded by aquarium hobbyists with a rosette not exceeding 10–15 cm in diameter.
Singonium is a popular room culture. This is a fast-growing climbing plant from the aroid family, forming well leafy shoots. The syngonium is interesting with a graceful form of foliage and its variegated color, which changes as the plant develops.
Speaking of the family, it is impossible not to recall Dieffenbachia, which has become a classic potting culture and has not left the florist collection for many years. The appearance of variegated varieties, as in the photo and simple care for indoor aroid plant, helps to maintain popularity.
Not very well known to rafidophore flower growers with medium-sized expressive foliage and long shoots that can climb almost sheer bare walls.
Most species intended and actively used in indoor floriculture, represented by many varieties and hybrids. But with such a wide variety of aroid in nature live in similar conditions, therefore, care for them consists of close events.
Aroid: photo and home care
All indoor aroid plants do not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, and they react to cold air flows, for example, from drafts, in spots on the foliage and lower turgor of the aerial part. If the culture is in the cold for a long time, it can shed the foliage, taking the cooling for the beginning of the winter period.
If in the summer, the aroid one needs sufficiently frequent and abundant watering, and some species perfectly exist in the aquatic environment, then in winter they reduce watering. Restrained year-round watering is only needed zamiakulkasu.
All plants from this family are demanding to the ground. It should be light, loose, well permeable to both water and oxygen. When selecting a mixture for plants, the bark of coniferous trees, previously boiled and crushed, coconut fiber, sphagnum and perlite, as well as sand and peat are used.
In summer, aroid plants in a room are arranged in such a way that pets have a lot of light, but the rays of the sun do not burn the lush foliage and stems. In winter, a lot of light is also required, and with its lack, artificial lighting is used.
Propagate species belonging to the aroid family.the easiest way is by vegetative means, for example, by daughter tubers, like alokazii, or by dividing a bush, like spathiphyllum.
At the same time, one should not forget about the toxicity of indoor aroid plants, which are not recommended to be placed in a place that is accessible to small children and domestic animals living in the house.