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a family of monocotyledonous plants. They are grassy perennials, often with thickened rhizomes or tubers; also climbing shrubs or semishrubs; and occasionally dendroid forms or epiphytes. The flowers are bisexual or unisexual in the spadices, with a bright covering. There are about 110 genera and 2,000 species, mainly in tropical regions. There are seven genera and 14 species in the USSR. Many Araceae contain a milky sap that is often poisonous. Among the Araceae are the taro, alocasias, and the yautia (Xanthosoma), which are important food crops; and also the anthuriums, monsteras, philodendrons, Indian kale, and others, which are widespread hothouse and house plants. In the USSR the bog arum grows in swampy areas, and the cuckoo pint is found in shady forests. Some species of Araceae (for example, plants of the genus Acora) are used in medicine and in the manufacture of perfume.