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Aglaonema modestum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Unranked: Angiosperms
Unranked: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Aglaonemateae
Genus: Aglaonema
Schott 1829

Aglaonema is a genus of about 40 species of foliage plants in the family Araceae, native to the tropical swamps and rainforests of southeastern Asia, from Bangladesh east to the Philippines, and north to southern China. No common name is widely used, though they are sometimes called "Chinese Evergreens".

They are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 20-150 cm in height. The leaves are alternate on the stems, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, dark to medium green, 10-45 cm long and 4-16 cm broad, depending on the species. The flowers are relatively inconspicuous, white or greenish-white spathes that can give way to red berries.

The sap of this plant is poisonous to health. It causes skin irritation. If ingested, the sap causes irritation of the mouth, lips, throat and tongue.

Cultivation and uses[]

They are popular houseplants and ornamental plants for offices and shopping malls because they are among the easiest houseplants to grow. Numerous cultivars have been selected, including plants with variegated leaves. They tolerate a wide range of light, as well as neglect, and are relatively resistant to pests. Aglaonema flourish for years.

They prefer indirect light and partial shade. They do best in shadow-less light, such as a north window. They prefer heavy soil, which should be kept moist but not soggy. They do not tolerate the cold; they should not be exposed to temperatures below 10°C (50°F), with optimal growing conditions between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). High air humidity is also important. They are easy to propagate from cuttings, which will root in a glass of water, or from divisions.

Selected species[]

  • Aglaonema acutispathum
  • Aglaonema brevispathum
  • Aglaonema commutatum
  • Aglaonema costatum
  • Aglaonema crispum
  • Aglaonema flemingianum
  • Aglaonema fumeum
  • Aglaonema hookerianum
  • Aglaonema modestum
  • Aglaonema nebulosum
  • Aglaonema nitidum
  • Aglaonema oblongifolium
  • Aglaonema pictum
  • Aglaonema roebelinii
  • Aglaonema rotundum
  • Aglaonema siamense
  • Aglaonema simplex

Common Names[]

Chinese evergreen


  • Prefers shade


  • The sap can be an irritant to skin