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.

Geographical Areas of Research with Araceae

There are geographical parameters to current research. While Josef Bogner works primarily with generic problems and on small taxonomic groups throughout the world, most researchers concentrate on a single continent or sometimes a single country. A few workers, such as Croat, Grayum, Sheffer, and Mayo and his collaborators in Brazil, deal almost exclusively with neotropical genera. Mayo's principal involvement has been eastern Brazil, especially Bahía. Croat's principal involvement for the early part of his career was in Central America, but in the last decade he has been concentrating on revisionary and floristic work in South America.

A number of researchers are now heavily committed to Asia because of the Flora Malesiana project. These include Boyce, Hay, Hetterscheid, Murata, Nicolson, and E. Widjaja. Presently, there are more researchers working on the Araceae of Asia than in any other area. In addition to those already mentioned on the Flora Malesiana project, other researchers include Li Heng and Kao Pao-Chung in China, H. Ohashi, H. Okada and M. Hotta in Japan (and sometimes other areas such as Sumatra), M. Sivadasan and S. R. Yadav in India, and D. Sookchaloem in Thailand.

Floristic works are also being carried out in the neotropics. These include floras being prepared for the following geographic regions: G. S. Bunting (Araceae for the Flora of Venezuela), in Colombia, D. Bay and T. Croat, for the Flora of Bajo Calima in Valle Department and T. Croat and J. Lake for the La Planada Reserve in Nariño Department; Chocó Department (Forero & Gentry, 1989). In Ecuador, Araceae treatments are being prepared for the Flora of Ecuador as well as for florulas at Reserva ENDESA (Croat & Rodriguez, 1995), in Pinchincha Province; Jatun Sacha, Napo Province; Río Guajalito, Pichincha Province, and for the Flora of the Guianas; M. Grayum (Araceae for the Costa Rica Manual project); G. Benevides (Ecuador) Flora La Favorita, Pichincha; and Simon Mayo and Marcus Nadruz who are doing floristic studies on the flora of Brazil. Mayo and Nadrus have an unpublished manuscript for a checklist of the Araceae of Brazil and Mayo has a similar checklist for the Araceae of Bahía State in Brazil.

Researchers working with European and Near Eastern Araceae include M. Bedalov working with Arum, H. Riedl with Eminium and K. Alpinar, Araceae in Turkey. Because of the paucity of Araceae in Africa, relatively little work has been done in mainland Africa although Bogner has worked extensively in adjacent Madagascar and S. Ittenbach of the Bonn Botanical Garden is revising the Amorphophallus of Africa.


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.