Click here for the complete Acoraceae including plants for which we do not have seed sources
(some unavailable plants do not produce viable seed that comes true)
Acoraceae ~ Araceae — but seemingly very distinct Habit and leaf form. Paludal, aromatic herbs; bearing essential oils. Perennial; with a basal aggregation of leaves; sympodially rhizomatous. Helophytic. Leaves alternate; distichous; flat; sessile; sheathing; aromatic (tangerine- or cinnamon-scented); edgewise to the stem (ensiform); simple. Lamina entire; parallel-veined. Lamina margins entire; flat. Leaves with a persistent basal meristem, and basipetal development (?). Leaf anatomy. Lamina isobilateral. The mesophyll with spherical etherial oil cells; without calcium oxalate crystals (and no raphides). Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent. Root anatomy. Root xylem with vessels; vessel end-walls scalariform. Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite (the flowers protogynous). Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in spikes. Inflorescences scapiflorous (the scape keeled, with double vascularization, taken to represent adnation of the peduncle with the sheath of the subtending leaf); ostensibly terminal; solitary, lateral spadices, tapering acropetally to a blunt tip, covered with tightly packed flowers; espatheate (in that the leafy point which terminates the scape above the manifestly lateral spadix seems to represent the blade of a terminal leaf, rather than a true spathe). Flowers ebracteate; ebracteolate; minute, or small; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube absent. Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy (?); dehiscent, or indehiscent (?); a capsule, or a berry (?). Seeds endospermic. Perisperm present. Cotyledons 1. Embryo chlorophyllous. Testa without phytomelan; thick. Seedling. Seedling collar not conspicuous. Cotyledon hyperphyll elongated; assimilatory; more or less circular in t.s. Coleoptile absent. Seedling cataphylls absent. First leaf ensiform. Primary root ephemeral. Physiology, biochemistry. Proanthocyanidins present. Geography, cytology. Holarctic and Paleotropical. Frigid zone, temperate, and sub-tropical. Celebes and New Guinea, Eastern Asia to Norway approaching the Arctic circle, central and western North America. 2n=24. Supposed basic chromosome number of family: 12. Ploidy levels recorded: 2 and 3. Taxonomy. Subclass Monocotyledonae. Superorder Ariflorae (? — perhaps meriting a monogeneric superorder, Acoriflorae); Arales (?). APG (1998) Monocot; non-commelinoid; Acorales. Species 2–6. Genera 1; only genus, Acorus. Grayum (1987) justified removal of Acorus from Araceae, and subsequent molecular analyses (e.g. Davis 1995) portray it, alone or with Gymnostachys, as the sister group of all other Monocotyledons. No double fertilization, cf. Orchidaceae. Economic uses, etc. Oleum calami is distilled from the rhizomes of Acorus calamus, for use in perfumery and medicine.