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Arisaema triphyllum.jpg
Arisaema triphyllum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Arisaemateae
Genus: Arisaema

See text

Arisaema distribution.svg
Range of the genus Arisaema.

Arisaema is a genus of about 150 species in the flowering plant family Araceae, native to eastern and central Africa, Asia and eastern North America. Asiatic species are often called cobra lilies, while western species are often called jack-in-the-pulpit; both names refer to the distinctive appearance of the flower, which consists of an erect central spadix rising from a spathe.

Classification and relationships[edit]

The closest relatives of Arisaema appear to be Pinellia and Typhonium (although the latter as defined in 2004 seems to be paraphyletic, having given rise to Arisaema and other genera).[1] One unusual trait shared by all Arisaema species, and not those of other genera, is the sex change. Arisaema plants are typically male when small, and female or hermaphraditic when large, with a single plant capable of changing sex based on nutrition[1] and genetics,[2] and perhaps changing sex several times during its long life (20 years or more).[1]

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Renner, S. S.; Zhang, L.-B.; Murata, J. (2004), "A chloroplast phylogeny of Arisaema (Araceae) illustrates Tertiary floristic links between Asia, North America, and East Africa", American Journal of Botany 91 (6): 881, doi:10.3732/ajb.91.6.881 
  2. ^ Vitt, P.; Holsinger, K. E.; Jones, C. S. (2003), "Local differentiation and plasticity in size and sex expression in jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum (Araceae)", American Journal of Botany 90 (12): 1729, doi:10.3732/ajb.90.12.1729 

External links[edit]