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8. Aristolochiaceae Jussieu

Dutchman's-pipe Family

Kerry Barringer
Alan T. Whittemore

Herbs or lianas [shrubs, rarely trees], deciduous or evergreen, often aromatic. Wood with broad medullary rays. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate. Leaf blade unlobed, margins entire. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, racemes or solitary flowers, rarely fan-shaped cymes. Flowers bisexual; calyx enlarged, petaloid, usually tubular, [1-,] 3-, [6-, rarely 5-]merous, lobes valvate; corolla usually reduced to scales or absent; stamens 5, 6, or 12 [multiples of 3 or 5], free or adnate to styles and stigmas, forming gynostemium; anthers extrorse; pistil 1, 4-6-carpellate; ovary inferior, partly inferior, or superior; placentation axile (and ovaries 4-6-locular) or parietal; ovules many per locule, anatropous. Fruits capsules [follicles], regularly to irregularly loculicidal, rarely indehiscent [septicidal]. Seeds often flattened; endosperm copious.

Genera 5, species ca. 600 (3 genera, 28 species in the flora): primarily pantropical and subtropical.


Duchartre, P. 1864. Aristolochiaceae. In: A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. de Candolle, eds. 1823-1873. Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis.... 17 vols. Paris etc. Vol. 15, pp. 421-498. Gregory, M. P. 1956. A phyletic rearrangement of the Aristolochiaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 43: 110-122. Schmidt, O. C. 1935. Aristolochiaceae. In: H. G. A. Engler et al., eds. 1924+. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien..., ed. 2. 26+ vols. Leipzig and Berlin. Vol. 16b, pp. 202-242. Solereder, H. 1889. Aristolochiaceae. In: H. G. A. Engler and K. Prantl, eds. 1887-1915. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien.... 254 fasc. Leipzig. Fasc. 35[III,1], pp. 264-273. Solereder, H. 1889b. Beiträge zur vergleichenden Anatomie der Aristolochiaceen. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 10: 410-523, tables 12-14.

1 Calyx bilaterally symmetric, usually bent or curved; ovary inferior; stems erect, twining, or procumbent.   1 Aristolochia
+ Calyx radially symmetric, straight; ovary inferior, partly inferior, or superior; stems rhizomatous.   (2)
2 (1) Sepals distinct; anthers each with prominent terminal appendage; styles connate in column; ovary inferior.   2 Asarum
+ Sepals connate for most of length; anthers without terminal appendages; styles distinct (except sometimes at extreme base); ovary superior or ca. 1/3-inferior.   3 Hexastylis

Lower Taxa


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