Arums belong in the plant family Araceae, better known as the lily family. These plants are monocotyledons therefore more closely related to orchids and grasses than to other plants. There are a large number of species in the Amazon. They are found in all types of habitats, from the cool, dark, damp forest floor to the warm, bright, dry canopy. Many arums are terrestrial, growing in soil, whereas others are epiphytic covering trees in spectacular masses. Arums are easily recognized. All are characterized by elongated, papery arrow-shaped leaves. The flower is comprised of a finger-like projection ("spadix") surrounded by a tough white or yellow bract. In the United States, skunk cabbage is a well-known wild-growing arum, and a number of species are cultivated as house plants.
Click below for arum lily photos and natural history information:
"Their stems and roots accumulate layers of soil and decaying organic matter
home to [a]... unique assemblage of tiny plants, insects, scorpions, sowbugs, and less common invertebrates."
E. O. Wilson The Diversity of Life 1992