Learn About the Types of Plants in the Araceae (Aroids) Family 


The Araceae family, also known as the Arum family or Aroids, is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. 

While it doesn’t compete in size with larger families like Asteraceae or Orchidaceae, which boast tens of thousands of species each, Araceae still holds a considerable diversity with 3,700 species and 140 genera.

Araceae fall under the Liliopsida class and belong to the Alismatales order. It has 11 subfamilies which further branch into tribes and, in some cases, subtribes, before further dividing into genera and species. Among these species include: 

  • Philodendron – Philodendrons
  • Spathiphyllum – Peace Lily
  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia – ZZ Plant
  • Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Amorphophallus titanum – Corpse Flower
  • Dieffenbachia – Dumbcane
  • Alocasia – Elephant Ear Plants
  • Aglaonema – Chinese Evergreens
  • Zantedeschia – Calla Lilies
  • Syngonium – Arrowhead Plants
  • Colocasia – Elephant Ear Plants
  • Anthurium – Anthuriums
  • Cryptocoryne – Cryptocorynes
  • Arisaema – Jack-in-the-Pulpits
  • Arum maculatum – Wild Arum

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Araceae, including its characteristics, common species, identification, and more. 

What Are Araceae Plants?

The Araceae, also known as the Arum family or Aroids, is a widespread family of flowering plants with over 140 genera and 4,000 identified species. They belong to the Alismateles order of the Plantae kingdom, sharing distant ties with water lilies and plantains. 

The Araceae was recognized as a plant group in the 16th century. During this period, French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu categorized terrestrials as either Dracontium or Arum and aroids as Pothos. This classification was later refined in the early 18th century. 

Plants under the Araceae family are commonly found in tropical rainforests, wetlands, and temperate regions. They’re known for their distinctive inflorescences, typically consisting of a spadix surrounded by a spathe. The spathe comes in different forms and colors, from tightly wrapped to loosely open, and from red, green, to orange. 

Beyond their flowers, Araceae plants are characterized by their foliage. 

Many are monocotyledonous in nature, meaning they possess a single embryonic leaf. 

A good majority also exhibit parallel venation, with veins running more or less parallel to each other from the base to the tip of the leaf. Net venation, which features branching support networks, is relatively rare and only occurs in 5% to 10% of the family species. 

Araceae leaves often contain calcium oxalate, which can irritate the skin and throat when handled and ingested. 

Despite such toxicity, certain Araeceae genera—particularly those that grow in tropical regions—are cultivated for food. Common edible species include Colocasia and Xanthosoma, both of which are prized for their corms and leaves. 

The Araceae is highly valued for its ornamental species, making it among the most important family for indoor foliage plants in North America. 

There are eight recognized subfamilies of Araeacea: 

  1. Lemnoideae: Aquatic plants characterized by their small, free-floating, or rooted leaves and tiny flowers.
  2. Gymnostachydoideae: Herbaceous plants with simple leaves and small flowers arranged in spike-like inflorescences.
  3. Aroideae: Herbaceous plants with spadix-and-spathe inflorescences.
  4. Lasioideae: Herbaceous plants with large, showy leaves and unique reproductive structures.
  5. Orontioideae: Perennial herbs with simple leaves and inconspicuous flowers.
  6. Pothoideae: Vines or epiphytes with simple leaves and small flowers.
  7. Zamioculcadoideae: Herbaceous plants with leaves that grow in a zigzag pattern along thick, succulent stems.
  8. Monstereae: Climbing or epiphytic plants with large, deeply lobed leaves. 

The largest Araceae subfamily is Aroideae with more than 2,500 species across 75 genera. It includes popular ornamental plants such as Anthurium, Philodendron, and Spathiphyllum, species you’ve likely heard of when shopping for easy-to-care indoor plants. 

Interestingly, research conducted by the International Aroid Society shows that some Araceae plants, like certain species of Amorphophallus and Philodendron, exhibit a rare phenomenon called thermogenesis. 

Thermogenesis allows plants to generate heat through metabolic processes within their inflorescence. This heat production serves two purposes: to attract pollinators and to protect them against tissue damage in cold regions. 

By increasing the temperature of their inflorescences, plants can mimic the warmth associated with decomposing organic matter, thereby attracting pollinators such as flies and beetles. 

And in colder regions, thermogenesis can help prevent tissue damage to reproductive structures, ensuring successful pollination even in chilly conditions. 

What Types of Plants Are in the Araceae Family?

From the elegant Philodendron to the majestic Spathiphyllum, the Araceae family offers an extensive selection of plants that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the variety you’ll find within this family:

Philodendron (Philodendron Species) – Philodendrons

  • Common plant species: Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum), Split-leaf Philodendron (Philodendron selloum), and Xanadu Philodendron (Philodendron ‘Xanadu’
  • Found in: Tropical regions of Central and South America
  • Common name: Philodendrons

Philodendron is a large and diverse genus belonging to the family Araceae. 

With over 480 identified species, it’s one of the most popular groups of houseplants due to its minimal care requirements, air-purifying properties, and beautiful foliage. 

Philodendrons come in a wide range of sizes. You have petite climbers like the Heartleaf Philodendron, the Tree Philodendron that can reach up to 10 feet tall, and the impressive Split-leaf Philodendron with deeply lobed leaves that can span several feet in width. 

You’ll also find compact varieties like the Xanadu Philodendron, perfect for smaller spaces or as understory plants in garden beds.

Philodendrons are characterized by their lush foliage, boasting glossy leaves that vary in shape from heart-shaped to lobed, elongated, or even needle-like. These leaves come in a spectrum of colors, including green, burgundy, red, yellow, and variegated with white, cream, or pink.

This species naturally occurs in humid tropical forests, as well as river banks, swamps, rock outcroppings, and roadsides. They’re scattered across Central and South America, the West Indies, and parts of southern Mexico.

Spathiphyllum – Peace Lily

  • Common plant species: Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii), Spoon-leafed Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum), Snowflower Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum floribundum)
  • Found in: Tropical regions of the Americas and southeastern Asia
  • Common name: Peace Lily 

The Spathiphyllum, commonly known as the Peace Lily and spath, is a genus of monocotyledonous plant in the family Araceae. 

It’s best known for its elegant white flowers, lush foliage, and relative ease of care, making it a popular choice among homeowners.

Although it’s called “lily,” the Peace Lily doesn’t belong to the family Liliaceae. 

True lilies, such as Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) and Asiatic lilies (Lilium asiatica), are highly toxic to cats and dogs, but the Peace Lily is only mildly toxic to animals and humans when ingested. 

Though it does contain calcium oxalate crystals (as with most plants in the Araceae family), it’s generally considered less harmful than true lilies.  

Another misconception about the Peace Lily is its white flowers, which aren’t actual flowers but specialized leaf structures called spathes. 

The white “petals” are modified leaves known as bracts. The Peace Lily’s true flowers are tiny and located on the central spike called spadix, which is surrounded by the spathe. This floral structure is characteristic of plants in the Araceae family.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia – ZZ Plant

  • Found in: Tropical regions of Eastern Africa
  • Common names: Zanzibar Gem, Eternity Plant, Aroid Palm, Zuzu Plant 

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, ZZ plant for short, is an easy-to-grow, easy-to-care herbaceous perennial plant in the family Araceae. It’s a species within the genus Zamioculcas.

This plant is native to eastern Africa, specifically Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar—which is where it got its ZZ name from (Zanzibar Zanzibar). It thrives beneath rainforests, where it receives lots of filtered sunlight and moisture. 

The ZZ plant is a slow-growing, drought-tolerant plant that can survive in low-light conditions. Its blooms are small and inconspicuous, consisting of a spadix surrounded by a spathe. It has glossy, succulent-like leaves that can store water, allowing the plant to endure periods of neglect and arid conditions.  

Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant

  • Found in: Tropical rainforests of Central and South America
  • Common names: Swiss Cheese Plant or Split-Leaf Philodendron

The Monstera deliciosa of the Araceae family is a species of flowering plant within the genus Monstera.

It’s native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Panama. It’s commonly known as the Swiss Cheese Plant or Split-Leaf Philodendron due to its fenestrated leaves, which develop holes and splits as they mature. 

The scientific name Monstera deliciosa literally translates to “delicious monster,” alluding to the plant’s abnormal leaves and the edible fruit it produces, which many consider tasty. 

When ripe, the fruit resembles a large, green corn but instead of kernels, it has scales. Each scale contains an edible pulp, which breaks open to reveal an edible creamy flesh. 

It has a tropical aroma and tastes like a combination of pineapple, banana, and mango, making it a unique and sought-after delicacy. 

The Monstera deliciosa’s fruit is only safe to eat when ripe. Immature fruits contain needle-like calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate your mouth and throat and create a painful burning sensation. It’s also full of oxalic acid, a substance commonly used to clean rust off metal and bleach wood. 

Amorphophallus titanum – Corpse Flower

  • Found in: Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Common names: Corpse Flower, Titan Arum

The Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the corpse flower, is a flowering plant in the family Araceae. It’s native to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia, where it thrives in warm, humid understory. 

The Latin word Amorphophallus translates to “shapeless phallus” while titanum means big or massive. 

Therefore, Amorphophallus titanum quite literally means big shapeless phallus—which is quite fitting, considering that it has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, reaching up to three meters (10 feet) tall. 

This inflorescence lasts only between 48 hours to a week maximum. During that period, it releases an intense smell of rotting flesh to attract specific pollinators like carrion flies and beetles, hence the common name “corpse flower.” 

After that, the plant enters a period of dormancy that can last several months to a few years as it prepares for its next flowering. 

Comically large inflorescence aside, the Amorphophallus titanum also boasts huge compound leaves, measuring up to three meters wide. 

Each leaf is composed of several leaflets attached to a central stem, giving the foliage a distinctive and tropical appearance. 

The leaflets themselves are typically deep green and have a smooth texture. 

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia Species) – Dumbcane

  • Common plant species: Leopard Lily (Dieffenbachia seguine), Painted Leaf Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia picta), Compact Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia compacta)
  • Found in: Tropical regions of Central and South America
  • Common name: Dumbcane plant

The Dieffenbachia is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae. 

This genus is touted for its attractive broad leaves with striking patterns of variegation in shades of green, white, and yellow. It’s native to the New World Tropics, which ranges from southern Mexico to the West Indies. 

The Dieffenbachia was named after the director of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, to honor his head gardener Joseph Dieffenbach (1796 to 1863). Dieffenbach is believed to have contributed significantly to the cultivation and propagation of botanical specimens, including the Dieffenbachia genus.

To date, there are over 50 species of Dieffenbachia. The most common species is the Dieffenbachia seguine, which features large, ovate leaves that can grow up to 20 inches long. There’s also the Dieffenbachia maculata, with smaller, variegated leaves, and the Dieffenbachia amoena, with arrow-shaped leaves. 

The common name “dumbcane” comes from the fact that Dieffenbachia plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which, when ingested, can cause the throat to numb and swell. This swelling can cause temporary loss of speech, hence the name. 

Alocasia (Alocasia Species) – Elephant Ear Plants

  • Common plant species: Elephant Ear (Colocasia species), Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
  • Found in: Tropical regions of Asia and Oceania
  • Common name: Elephant Ear Plants 

The Alocasia is a genus of tropical and subtropical flowering plants in the family Araceae. It’s native to Southeast Asia and Oceania. 

Plants of this genus are known for their large, heart-shaped leaves, which resemble the ears of an elephant, hence the common name elephant ear plants. 

Alocasias come in a wide range of leaf colors, patterns, textures, and growth habits. There are over 80 identified species, with the most common being the Jewel Alocasia (Alocasia sanderiana), Zebra Alocasia (Alocasia zebrina), and Amazonian Elephant Ear (Alocasia amazonica). 

Each of these plants possesses unique characteristics that make them desired houseplants. The Jewel Alocasia, for example, features dark green leaves with contrasting silver or white veins running throughout, giving it a jeweled appearance. 

The Zebra Alocasia has a distinctive, zebra-like patterning while the Amazonian Elephant Ear boasts large, heart-shaped leaves with striking silvery-white veins. 

Like most houseplants belonging to the family Araceae, Alocasias are low-maintenance plants. They thrive under bright, indirect sunlight, moderate to high humidity levels, and well-draining, airy potting mix.

Aglaonema (Aglaonema Species) – Chinese Evergreens

  • Common plant species: Philippine Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum), Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum), Silver Evergreen (Aglaonema crispum)
  • Found in: Tropical and subtropical regions of Asia
  • Common names: Chinese Evergreens 

The Aglaonema is a genus of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the family Araceae. 

It boasts over 50 different species, most of which are found in the humid rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly China, Thailand, and the Philippines. Collectively, they’re known as Chinese Evergreens. 

Most Aglaonema varieties are relatively small, one to three feet tall. Their leaves come in various shapes (oval, lance-shaped, etc.), often featuring stunning patterns and color combinations. 

In most parts of Asia, Agaleonema plants are believed to bring luck and prosperity. They were first brought to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in 1885, where they were later cultivated, hybridized, and bred into the varieties we see today. 

Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia Species) – Calla Lillies

  • Common plant species: Picasso Calla Lily (Zantedeschia Picasso), Pink Calla Lily (Zantedeschia rehmanni), and Captain Safari Lily (Zantedeschia Captain Safari)
  • Found in: Southern Africa
  • Common name: Calla Lily 

The Zantedeschia is a genus of herbaceous, perennial flowering plants in the family Araceae. 

It’s native to southern Africa, specifically Lesotho, South Africa, and Eswatini, but the genus has been introduced in some form on every continent. Zantedeschias are marsh plants, meaning they grow in swampy regions and along waterways. 

Plants under this genus are valued for their trumpet-shaped blooms and rich, vibrant colors, which range from pure white and creamy yellow to deep shades of pink, red, and even purple. 

Due to their timeless beauty and long-lasting blooms, they’re popular choices for floral arrangements, bouquets, and garden borders.  

Syngonium (Syngonium Species) – Arrowhead Plants

  • Common plant species: Goosefoot Plant (Syngonium podophyllum), Red Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium erythrophyllum)
  • Found in: Tropical regions of Central and South America
  • Common name: Arrowhead Plants, Arrowhead Vines

The Syngonium is a genus of flowering plants within the Araceae family. 

Commonly known as Arrowhead Vines or Arrowhead Plants, Syngoniums are native to the lush rainforests of Central and South America. They grow best in warm, humid environments with filtered sunlight.

There are 30 species of Syngonium. Most are grown as trailing or climbing vines, making them suitable for hanging baskets, trellises, or as groundcover in gardens. 

One of the most popular Syngonium species is the Syngonium podophyllum Maria Theresa, which features arrow-shaped leaves with variegation in shades of green, white, and cream. 

The Syngonium podophyllum Silver Splash is another popular choice due to its unique patterns and captivating silver speckles and splashes. 

Both variants are prized for their ease of care, attractive foliage, and ability to tolerate a range of light conditions. This makes them a favorite among indoor and landscaping enthusiasts alike.

Colocasia (Colocasia Species) – Elephant Ear Plants

  • Common plant species: Taro (Colocasia esculenta), Giant Taro (Colocasia gigantea), Green Taro (Colocasia fallax)
  • Found in: Tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands
  • Common name: Elephant Ear Plant 

The Colocasia, commonly known as Elephant Ear Plants, is a genus of tropical flowering plants in the family Araceae. 

Though it shares the same common name as Alocasia, they’re two distinct genera. Colocasia leaves are typically heart-shaped, with a more rounded or sagittate (arrowhead) form, while Alocasia leaves are often more arrow-shaped or elongated, with distinct lobes or points. Colocasia and Alocasia plants also exhibit different growth habits. 

While both genera can be grown as perennial herbs or rhizomatous plants, Colocasia species are often known for their clumping or spreading growth habit, with multiple stems emerging from a central point. 

In contrast, Alocasia species have a more upright or solitary growth habit, with a single stem or trunk.

Colocasia plants are native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, where they grow in warm, humid environments. 

There are 40 different species of Colocasia, with the most popular being Taro (Colocasia esculenta). 

Taro has been cultivated for thousands of years as a staple food crop in many tropical and subtropical regions, valued for its nutritious corms and versatile culinary uses. 

Taro plants typically grow in flooded fields and swampy areas.

Anthurium (Anthurium Species) – Anthuriums

  • Common plant species: Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum), Laceleaf (Anthurium scherzerianum
  • Found in: Tropical regions of the Americas
  • Common name: Anthurium, Tailflower, Flamingo Flower, and Laceleaf

Anthurium is one of the largest genera of flowering plants in the family Araceae, with over 1,000 identified species.  

Anthuriums are loved for their vibrant, heart-shaped spathe, elongated spadix, and glossy, dark green leaves. The leaves are leathery and lance-shaped, adding to the tropical appearance of the plant. 

A good majority of Anthuriums are climbers, exhibiting a natural tendency to grow upwards and attach themselves to nearby structures for support. In natural settings, many are considered epiphytic, meaning they grow on other plants, such as trees or branches, instead of soil. 

Since they’re accustomed to growing without soil, Anthuriums prefer well-draining potting mixtures and benefit from occasional misting to mimic their natural environment. If the plant fails to support itself, incorporate a stake or trellis to allow it to exhibit its climbing behavior.

Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne Species) – Cryptocorynes

  • Common plant species: Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus), Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus), Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
  • Found in: Tropical regions of Asia and Africa
  • Common name: Cryptocorynes

Cryptocoryne is a genus of aquatic plants from the family Araceae. 

Plants of this genus are native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, India, and New Guinea. They typically live along streams and rivers with gentle waters, where they can form dense colonies. 

In aquariums, they can thrive in submerged conditions as long as they’re given nutrient-rich substrate and adequate lighting. 

Cryptocoryne species like Wendt’s Cryptocoryne, Parva Cryptocoryne, and Wavy Cryptocoryne are often used in freshwater aqua-scaping projects to create natural-looking underwater environments. 

Beyond their aesthetic value, these plants also help stabilize the substrate, prevent erosion, and provide habitats for various aquatic organisms. 

Arisaema (Arisaema Species) – Jack-in-the-Pulpits

  • Common plant species: Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Chinese Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema consanguineum), Dwarf cobra lily (Arisaema dracontium)
  • Found in: Temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia
  • Common name: Jack-in-the-Pulpits

Arisaema is a genus of perennial herbaceous plants in the family Araceae, with over 190 identified species. Most of these species are found in temperate regions across Asia, North Africa, and Europe. 

Arisaema’s common name, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, is derived from the appearance of its inflorescence, which resembles a figure standing in a pulpit. 

Arisaemas come in dozens of leaf shapes and textures. Some species, like the three-leaved Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), display palmate leaves with multiple leaflets, while others like the Chinese Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema consanguineum) feature radial leaves. 

They also come in varying sizes. Miniature species like the dwarf cobra lily (Arisaema dracontium) stand around six inches tall, while giants like the giant cobra lily (Arisaema propinquum) can reach up to six feet.

Arum maculatum – Wild Arum

  • Found in: Woodlands and shaded areas of Europe, Asia, and North Africa
  • Common name: Wild Arum, Lords-and-Ladies, Naked Boys, Devils and Angels

Arum maculatum, also known as the Wild Arum or Lords-and-Ladies, is a perennial herbaceous belonging to the Araceae family within the genus Arum. 

This plant is native to Europe and parts of North Africa and Western Asia, where it’s almost exclusively found in woodland areas, hedgerows, and shady habitats. 

It features a poker-shaped spadix that’s partially enclosed by a green, leaf-like spathe. The spadix emits a faint, foul-smelling odor to attract certain insects for pollination. 

The plant’s leaves have distinct purple spots, hence the Latin name macalatum meaning “spotted.” 

During late summer and fall, Arum maculatum produces bright orange berries on its spadix. 

Though they look like your typical supermarket berries, they’re actually toxic. When consumed, they may induce bloody diarrhea, bloody vomiting, and swelling and burning of the mouth and tongue. 

Due to its toxic properties and tendency to spread aggressively, Arum maculatum is rarely cultivated as a garden or ornamental plant. It’s also challenging to grow in typical garden settings because it prefers shady woodland habitats and specific soil conditions. 

What Species of Araceae (Arum Family) Plants Are Good for Houseplants?  

The Araceae family encompasses thousands of plant species, and a good majority are suitable for indoor cultivation. Some standout species include: 

Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)

  • Sunlight requirements: Bright, indirect light; can tolerate some shade. 
  • Water: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.   
  • Humidity: Prefers moderate to high humidity levels but can tolerate average indoor humidity. 
  • Temperature: 65 to 85°F (18 to 29°C). Avoid cold drafts.
  • Additional care: Provide support for climbing vines as the plant matures.

Known for its large, fenestrated leaves, the Monstera deliciosa is a hardy plant that thrives in various indoor temperatures and humidity levels. It isn’t toxic to pets, but ingestion can still cause gastrointestinal upset so it’s best kept out of reach of curious pets. 

Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

  • Sunlight requirements: Low to bright, indirect light; can tolerate low light conditions. 
  • Water: Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Prefers to be underwatered rather than overwatered.
  • Humidity: Can tolerate average indoor humidity levels.
  • Temperature: 60 to 75°F (15 to 24°C). Avoid cold drafts.
  • Additional care: Prune off any yellowing or damaged leaves. 

The ZZ plant is an excellent air purifier, known to filter out airborne toxins like toluene, xylene, and benzene. It’s easy to take care of and can grow up to three feet in height. 

The ZZ plant is a hard-to-kill plant, making it a suitable choice for busy homeowners. It only ever dies due to overwatering, which can result in root rot. It’s resistant to pests and diseases and can thrive in low-light environments. 


  • Sunlight requirements: Bright, indirect light; can tolerate some shade. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.
  • Water: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. 
  • Humidity: Prefers moderate to high humidity levels. Mist the leaves regularly or place the plant on a pebble tray filled with water to increase humidity.
  • Temperature: 65 to 80°F (18 to 27°C). Avoid cold drafts.
  • Additional care: Provide support for climbing varieties with a stake or trellis. 

Philodendrons are often considered one of the best houseplants for both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts because of their attractive foliage and forgiving nature. 

They can easily adapt to various indoor environments, even low-light ones, and can tolerate extended periods of drought. They don’t have too many pest problems, either. 

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) 

  • Sunlight requirements: Thrives in low to bright, indirect light. Can tolerate low light conditions.
  • Water: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. 
  • Humidity: Can tolerate average indoor humidity levels.
  • Temperature: 60 to 85°F (15 to 29°C). Avoid cold drafts.
  • Additional care: Prune to maintain the desired shape and encourage bushy growth. 

Pothos and Philodendrons are often confused due to their similar appearance and growth habits, but they’re two distinct plant genera with different care requirements. 

For one, pothos generally tolerate lower light conditions better than Philodendrons. Pothos are also more forgiving of underwatering compared to Philodendrons. 

They can tolerate occasional drying out of the soil between waterings, whereas Philodendrons prefer consistently moist soil and may wilt if they become too dry. 

These differences make pothos overall easier to take care of.

Spathiphyllum spp. (Peace Lily) 

  • Sunlight requirements: Indirect light; avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.  
  • Humidity: Prefers high humidity levels; mist the leaves regularly or place the plant on a pebble tray filled with water.
  • Temperature: 65 to 80°F (18 to 27°C). Avoid cold drafts.
  • Additional care: Remove spent flowers to encourage new blooms.  

The Peace Lily is an excellent choice for when you want to fill up a room with greenery. Its foliage is abundant and its leaves are large. It can survive in low-light conditions and even tolerate fluorescent lights.

What Are the Characteristics of Araceae (Aroids) Plants?  

Araceae plants have several characteristics that make them stand out among other plant families. These are as follows: 

  • Distinct inflorescence: Araceae plants have a floral structure that consists of a spadix surrounded by a spathe. 
  • Presence of calcium oxalate: Most Araceae species contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic when injected. 
  • Air purification: Many species have purifying abilities, allowing them to remove toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air. 
  • Tolerance to low light: Many species are well-adapted to low-light conditions, making them suitable for indoor cultivation. 
  • Leaves: Aroid leaves come in a vast array of shapes, sizes, and textures, but most exhibit prominent veins and appear leathery, variegated, or metallic. 

How Can You Identify Araceae Plants?  

In Plant Systematics (Second Edition, 2010), author and botanist Dr. Michael G. Simpson explains that the best and easiest way to identify Araceae plants is by looking at their floral structure and leaf arrangement. 

All Araceae plants feature a spadix surrounded by a spathe, along with leaves that have veins running parallel or forming a net-like pattern. 

Araceae plants also have endospermous seeds, meaning that their seeds contain endosperm tissues that provide nourishment to the developing embryo. 

Finally, all Araceae contain varying amounts of raphide crystals, composed primarily of calcium oxalate. These crystals are found in the cells of various plant tissues, including leaves, stems, and roots.

What Araceae (Aroids) Plants Are Native to Australia?  

According to the Atlas of Living Australia, Australia is home to 11 native Araceae species, of which only Gymostachys are endemic. These 11 types have a total of 34 species, and 22 of them are unique to Australia. Here are some of the common: 

  • Alocasia: Brisbane Arrowroot (Alocasia brisbanensis)
  • Amorphophallus: Bulbifer Amorphophallus (Amorphophallus bulbifer) and Elephant Foot Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius)
  • Gymnostachys: Prickly Frogbit (Gymnostachys anceps)
  • Pothos: Long-stalked Pothos (Pothos longipes)
  • Rhaphidora: Cryptic Rhaphidora (Rhaphidora cryptantha), Decursive Rhaphidora (Rhaphidora decursiva), and Korthals’ Rhaphidora (Rhaphidora korthalsii)
  • Typhonium: Venous Typhonium (Typhonium venosum), Giant Typhonium (Typhonium giganteum), Three-lobed Typhonium (Typhonium trilobatum), and Brown’s Typhonium (Typhonium brownii).

Of the above, the largest Araceae genus is Typhonium, with half of all the species. These plants are well-adapted to the changing seasons of Australia. 

What Classification Do Araceae Plants Belong to?  

Araceae plants belong to the Araceae family, a large group of monocotyledonous flowering plants with more than 100 genera and 3700 species, as stated in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. 

Araceae plants are further classified within the order Alismatales, which encompasses various types of aquatic and marsh plants. This order includes a diverse range of plant families, such as Araceae, Alismataceae, and Hydrocharitaceae.