Common Names in English:
Common Dracunculus, Devil´s-Tongue, Dragon Arum, Dragon Flower, Dragon-Lily, Voodoo Lily
, wetland or terrestrial
, occasionally emergent or floating, [often epiphytic or climbing
], usually with milky
or watery latex, rarely colored
. Rhizomes, corms, or stolons present; rhizomes vertical
or horizontal, creeping
at or near surface
, sometimes branched; corms underground, starchy; stolons at or near surface. Stems absent [sometimes aboveground or aerial
]. Cataphylls usually present. Leaves rarely solitary, alternate or clustered; petiole
rarely absent, with sheathing
, occasionally sagittate-cordate, larger than 1.5 cm; venation
parallel or pinnate- or palmate-netted. Inflorescences spadices, each with 3--900 usually tightly grouped, sessile flowers, subtended by spathe
; spathe rarely absent, persistent
(sometimes only proximally) or deciduous, variously colored; spadix cylindric
, various parts occasionally naked or with sterile
flowers. Flowers bisexual
usually on same plants
or functionally on different plants, staminate flowers
distal to pistillate when unisexual; perianth absent or present; stamens 2--12, distinct
in synandria; ovaryies 1, 1--3(--many) -locular, sessile or embedded
in spadix; styles 1; stigmas hemispheric
, capitate, or discoid
[sometimes strongly lobed
]. Fruits berries
, distinct or connate at maturity. Seeds 1--40(--many) per berry.
Genera 105, species more than 3300 (8 genera, 10 species in the flora ; species in 10 additional genera may persist locally within flora area, see talbe 203.1) : nearly worldwide, primarily tropical regions .
Araceae are best characterized by the inflorescence, a fleshy cylindric or ovoid, unbranched spadix subtended or surrounded by a spathe. True spathes are absent in the Nearctic genus Orontium and in the Australian genus Gymnostachys. Other plant families with a compressed spadix-like inflorescence, such as Piperaceae and Cyclanthaceae, either do not have a structure equivalent to a spathe (Piperaceae) or have early-deciduous bracts (Cyclanthaceae) . Plants are usually glabrous , rarely pubescent or spiny (pubescent in Pistia) . Many Araceae exhibit typical monocotyledonous parallel leaf venation, but some genera have net leaf venation more typical of dicotyledons.
Infrafamilial classification of the Araceae is under active study. The only classification of the family to date to utilize modern phylogenetic techniques (S. J. Mayo et al. 1997) recognizes seven subfamilies, of which three are represented in native temperate North American aroid flora: Orontioideae (Orontium, Symplocarpus, Lysichiton) ; Calloideae (Calla) ; and Aroideae (Peltandra, Arisaema, and Pistia) . Acorus, a genus historically included in Araceae, is treated as a separate family in theat flora based on extensive morphologic and chemical evidence that supports its removal from Arales (M. H. Grayum 1987) .
The number of genera of Araceae occurring in temperate North America is low in comparison with other continents, and primitive taxa are disproportionately represented. Orontioideae and Calloideae, which include four of the seven native genera found in the flora area, are the basal clades within Araceae. Plants in these subfamilies possess the primitive states for many characteristics in Araceae and share few derived characteristics with other aroid genera (M. H. Grayum 1990) . The more advanced genera native to the flora area include one genus endemic to eastern North America (Peltandra), a pantropical genus with an uncertain native distribution (Pistia), and a genus clearly Eurasian in origin (Arisaema) .
Araceae contain crystals of calcium oxalate , which are often cited as causing the intense irritation experienced when handling or consuming the raw plant tissue of many genera in the family. This supposition is contradicted by the fact that although irritation generally is not produced by properly cooked plants, the crystals remain after heating. Other compounds must therefore be involved with causing this reaction. Studies of Dieffenbachia demonstrated that a proteolytic enzyme , as well as other compounds, are responsible for the severe irritation caused by this plant and that raphides of calcium oxalate do not play a major role (J. Arditti and E. Rodriguez 1982) . Whether irritation is caused by enzymes or crystals, that aspect of Araceae has resulted in aroid genera being included in many lists of poisonous plants (e.g. , K . F. Lampe and M. A. McCann 1985; G. A. Mulligan and D. B . Munro 1990; K. D. Perkins and W. W. Payne 1978) .
Despite the toxic effects of Araceae, species of several genera are cultivated as food plants, mainly as subsistence crops in tropical areas. The major edible Araceae are Colocasia esculenta and several species of Xanthosoma, grown primarily for their corms and sometimes for their leaves. Most North American species of Araceae were historically used by Native Americans, as both food and medicine (T. Plowman 1969) . The family, is currently more valued for its many ornamental species , and is the most important family in North America for indoor foliage plants (T. B. Croat 1994) . Araceae commonly grown as ornamentals in American homes include species of Aglaonema (Chinese-evergreen), Anthurium, Caladium, Dieffenbachia (dumbcane), Epipremnum (golden pothos), Philodendron, Spathiphyllum, Syngonium, and Zantedeschia (calla-lily) .
Plants of some cultivated species of Araceae escape and may persist or naturalize , especially in warmer climates. One of these species, Colocasia esculenta, is widespread enough to warrant full inclusion in the flora, but other introduced species of Araceae are very local in occurrence. Uncommon species represented by herbarium specimens or literature reports as escaped or persisting from cultivation are listed (table 203.1) with distinguishing characteristics and areas of occurrence.
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May. • Flower Color: black, dark purple
Size: 4-6' tall.
Typically found in the intertidal zone at the water's edge at a mean distance from sea level of 37 meters (120 feet).
Culture: Space 18-24" apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 6.6 • Maximum pH: 7.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- (Bartl., 1830) Takhtajan, 1997
- Superorder: Aranae () - (Dumortier, 1829) Thorne Ex Reveal, 1992
- Subclass: Aridae () - (Bartl., 1830) Takhtajan, 1997
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Aron dracunculum (L.) St. -Lag. • Arum dracunculus L. • Arum guttatum Salisb. • Dracunculus creticus Schott • Dracunculus dracunculus (L.) Voss • Dracunculus major Garsault • Dracunculus polyphyllus Blume • Dracunculus spadiceus Raf. • Dracunculus vulgaris var. elongatus Engl. • Dracunculus vulgaris var. laevigatus Engl.
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 11-Nov-2003
Members of the genus Dracunculus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 2 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 23, 2007:
- Berkeley Natural History Museums, University and Jepson Herbaria DiGIR provider
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- , Lund Botanical Museum
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- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2670887
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-64176
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 4490920
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:86985-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 14675
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 506952
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 86985-1
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: DRVU
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 31770