Greek pelte – shield, oner – stamen, referring to the shape of the stamens.
Perennial herbs from waterside and swampy areas with short, thick, rhizomes. Leaves entire, arrowhead shaped and with long stalks and sheaths, the margins with 2-3 veins, the lateral veins mostly parallel. Flowers on stalks as long as leaf stalks. Florets unisexual. Perianth absent. Male and female zones joining or with sterile flowers between, occasionally with a terminal appendix. Male florets of 4-5 flat, united stamens. Female florets with cup-like structure around the ovary. Ovary 1-chambered. Fruit a green to orange berry containing 1-3 seeds.
Grown for the attractive foliage.
3 species from subtropical eastern N America.
Division or occasionally by seed.
P. virginica rhizomes are roasted and eaten by native American Indians.
Leaves simple; flowers with male and female zones not separated with a constriction; sterile florets absent or few; female florets with a cup-like structure around the ovary.
Source: (2005). Araceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.