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Thomas B. Croat Missouri Botanical Garden

Anthurium Schott Wein. Zeitschr. Kunst 3:828. 1829 (3rd Quart). LECTOTYPE: Anthurium acaule (Jacq.) Schott. Pothos acaulis Jacq., Enum. syst. pl. 31. 1760 (vide IGN).

Herbs, usually epiphytic, sometimes terrestrial; stems short to elongate; internodes short to elongate; roots usually numerous at each node; cataphylls usually lanceolate, persistent or deciduous, usually promptly weathering to fibers. LEAVES commonly clustered near the end of the stem; petioles usually firm, stiff or flexible, briefly sheathed at base, geniculate at apex, cross-sectional shape highly variable; blades usually subcoriaceous, rarely thin or coriaceous, extremely variable in form, simple and usually ovate, elliptic, or lanceolate, frequently cordate at base or digitately lobed with the lobes united or divided to the base into distinct segments, net-veined, midrib stout, the primary lateral veins and the basal veins often forming a collective vein along the margin, basal veins often joined to form a posterior rib. INFLORESCENCE one per node, pedunculate; spathe usually flat, inserted on the peduncle at an oblique angle, sometimes decurrent at base, usually lanceolate, rarely ovate or naviculiforme, usually not convolute at the base, usually persistent, usually free before anthesis, usually spreading or reflexed, sometimes erect, sometimes hooding spadix, often colored; spadix uniform, usually gradually tapered to apex, sometimes cylindroid, rarely clavate or globose, sessile or stipitate, many flowered, variously colored; flowers perfect, usually protogynous, closely aggregated in spirals, truncate at apex, the apex usually rhombic, sometimes quadrangular or 4-lobed in outline; the sides of the apex straight or sigmoid to jaggedly sigmoid; tepals 4, flattened throughout most of their length, broader and truncate at apex, usually triangular at apex, the lateral pair covering partly the anterior and posterior pair; pistil usually exposed between the 4 tepals, simple, 2-celled, included or exterted at anthesis; stigma usually a slit-like depression in the apex of the pistil; ovules usually or 2 per cell, rarely 3 or more; stamens 4, usually weakly exserted at anthesis, with only a small part of the filament exposed, the filaments flattened and fleshy, promptly shrinking and withdrawing the anther to the surface of the tepals, less commonly with the stamens protruding well above the tepals, then often persisting, not retracting, usually the lateral pair of stamens emerging first, followed by the anterior then the posterior stamen; anthers 2-celled, usually broader than long, opening by a longitudinal slit, pollen variously colored. INFRUCTESCENCE usually pendent, sometimes erect; berries ovoid, oblong-ovoid, oblong or obovoid, succulent and juicy, variously colored, 2-celled, usually with one seed per cell; pericarp moderately thin, mesocarp usually translucent, sweet; seeds usually somewhat flattened, usually with a sticky appendage on at least one end.

The genus has an estimated 1000 neotropical species and haslong been considered a member of the subfamily Pothoideae . The genus is characterized by its net-reticulated leaf blades, bisexual flowers arranged in uniform spike-like spadices subtended by a persistent and free spathe.

The suprageneric classification of Anthurium is controversial, with Grayum (1990) placing it in tribe Anthurieae in subfamily Pothoideae while Bogner & Nicolson (1991) place it in tribe Anthurieae in subfamily Lasioideae . The most recent and as yet unpublished system of classification, that of Mayo, Bogner and Boyce (1997) places the genus by itself in the