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The Sectional Groupings of
Anthurium (Araceae)

Thomas B. Croat
Missouri Botanical Garden
P 0. Box 299
St. Louis, Missouri 63166

Richard D. Sheffer Indiana University Northwest
3400 Broadway
Gary, Indiana 46408

In order to conduct a successful hybridization with Anthurium it is necessary to have some understanding of the inter-relationships among different species of Anthurium.  This paper will introduce the sectional classification of the genus and will detail some examples of inter-sectional crosses that have proven successful. Others, where no success has yet been achieved, will also be reported.

The first system of subgeneric classification was that of H. W. Schott in his "Prodromus Systematis Aroidearum" published in 1860, in which he classified the 183 known species of Anthurium into 28 sections. In the most recent revision of the genus by Engler (1905) the species are divided into 18 sections (only 17 of which are treated here). By the time Engler's revision was published, considerably more species had been described and his was dealing with 486 species. A discussion of the differences between Schott's and Engler's systems and their relative merits will be the subject of a longer paper in which the changes proposed here will be substantiated.

In this paper a somewhat modified version of the system used by Engler will be presented. Examples are given of species representing each section. In addition, a key is provided for identifying the sections and the diagnostic charcters are provided for each group.

IMAGE imgs/anthsections01.gif
1This work has been slightly modified from the original publication (Croat & Sheffer, 1983), most noticeably in that sect. Digitinervium has been repositioned next to sect. Porphyrochitonium with which it is most closely related and sectional numbering has shifted as a result. Also, the name, sect. Oxycarpium , has been changed to sect. Decurrentia . Finally, some minor rewording has been made throughout this work.