Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Elizabeth McClintock

In CA perennial herb, terrestrial or aquatic, from short, generally erect caudex, often monoecious; elsewhere shrub, vine, or growing on other plant
Stems sometimes above ground in addition to caudex
Leaves simple or compound, basal (or cauline and 2-ranked)
Inflorescence: generally spike, fleshy, generally ill-smelling; flowers generally many, bisexual or pistillate below, staminate above; bract subtending spike 1, generally showy (petal-like), generally > spike, sometimes sheathing
Flower: perianth parts 4 or 6, free or fused; stamens generally 0, 4, or 6, free or fused; ovary superior to half-inferior and sunken in inflorescence axis, chambers 1–3, stigma ± sessile
Fruit: berry
Seeds 1–many
Genera in family: ± 110 genera, 1800 species: generally tropical, subtropical. Some cultivated for food (Colocasia , taro) or ornamental (Philodendron, Anthurium )
Reference: [Wilson 1960 J Arnold Arbor 41:47–63]
Needle-like crystals in most tissues cause intense irritation when chewed; those of Dieffenbachia, dumb-cane, may induce temporary speechlessness.


Perennial, terrestrial, monoecious
Leaves basal; blade flat, hastate to sagittate; petiole ± = or > blade
Inflorescence < bract, tip with cylindric appendage; peduncle < petiole; bract ± tubular, enclosing inflorescence at base, withering before fruit; flowers pistillate near base, staminate above, generally sterile between
Staminate flower: perianth 0; stamens 3–4
Pistillate flower: ovary chamber 1
Species in genus: ± 15 species: Eurasia, n Africa
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Some cultivated as ornamental or for food (A. maculatum rhizomes edible when thoroughly cooked).


A. italicum Mill.

Leaves appearing fall to early winter, after flower; blade 15–35 cm, veins whitish; petiole < 40 cm
Inflorescence < bract; bract < 40 cm, greenish white to yellow outside, pale yellow-green inside, drooping at tip, withering
Fruit orange-red
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed, generally shaded areas
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: native to Europe, w Asia, n Africa
Sometimes cultivated as ornamental.

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for ARUM%20italicum being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Arum italicum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Arum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California