arum lily(redirected from Araceae)
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arum lilythe plant Arum maculatum. It is a remarkable example of COEVOLUTION in that the shoot is modified to form a large, foul-smelling BRACT which is attractive to small flies. The bract (or spathe) is swollen at its base, which encloses the male and female flowers. Once attracted by the spathe, flies carrying pollen enter the swollen bract chamber searching for nectar, and so pollinate the female flower. CROSS-POLLINATION is ensured by differential maturation times for male and female flowers; when the flies leave they carry pollen from the male flowers which have ripened while the flies were in the chamber. The fact that the arum lily has many VERNACULAR NAMES, such as lords-and-ladies, jack-in-the-pulpit, cuckoo-pint, demonstrates the importance of BINOMIAL NOMENCLATURE.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005