History and Current Status of Systematic Research with Araceae

Copyright © 2000 by Thomas B. Croat
Missouri Botanical Garden
P. O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166

This is the second edition of an article that first appeared in Aroideana, Volume 21, 1998. This document is also available as a PDF file here. Adobe Acrobat Reader™, a free software, is required to view this PDF file.


The Araceae, though the active subject of research by many botanists since the time of H. W. Schott, is still one of the most poorly known plant families. While considerable efforts are still needed to complete a revision of the Araceae of Asia, even more research is needed in the neotropics. While the family is reasonably well known in Central America and the West Indies, it remains poorly studied in the South America, especially in the region of the Andes. The current large team of scientists and the ever growing student population as well as the increased public interest in the horticulture and systematics of the family bode well for the ultimate goal of more completely understanding this remarkable group of plants.


The author wishes to thank all aroid researchers who edited and returned those portions dealing directly with their research. A number of people agreed to edit the entire document. A great deal of credit for the end product in this document goes to Alistair Hay who provided much information about Asian localities, Asian collectors and new specialists in Araceae from that region and also gave useful advise for improving the manuscript. In addition, a number of references were obtained directly from his massive botanical bibliography of the Araceae of Malesia, Australia, and the tropical western Pacific region published in Blumea (Suppl. 8). Special thanks also goes to Dan Nicolson for his meticulous editing, for correcting the German text, adding many references, for correcting references and for his generally wise advise for improvements. Richard Mansell also carefully edited the entire manuscript and made useful changes. Others who edited this work include: Josef Bogner, Peter Boyce, Simon Mayo, and Wilbert Hetterscheid. Thanks to all of you for your much appreciated efforts. Profound thanks goes to Petra Schmidt Malesevich, without whose constant help the project could not have even been begun. Its completion owes much to her many hours spent on all aspects of the project.


Please send your comments to Tom Croat at the address here.

This page was created by Scott E. Hyndman for the IAS on December 9, 2000.