3. Berchemia Necker ex de Candolle in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 2: 22. 1825. name conserved.
Rattan [For Jacob Pierre Berthoud van Berchem, eighteenth-century Dutch mineralogist and naturalist] Rattan [For Jacob Pierre Berthoud van Berchem, eighteenth-century Dutch mineralogist and naturalist]
Guy L. Nesom
Woody vines [shrubs, trees], tendrils absent, unarmed; bud scales present. Stems twining, glabrous [hairy]. Leaves deciduous [persistent], alternate; blade not gland-dotted; pinnately veined, secondary, and usually tertiary, veins strongly parallel. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, paniclelike thyrses [corymblike cymes or fascicles]; peduncles and pedicels not fleshy in fruit. Pedicels present. Flowers functionally unisexual (plants functionally dioecious) [bisexual]; hypanthium patelliform, cupulate, or hemispheric, 2–3 mm wide; sepals 5, staminate spreading, pistillate erect, greenish, triangular [rarely linear or narrowly lanceolate], keeled adaxially; petals 5, cream or yellowish to greenish white, flat, spatulate to lanceolate, short-clawed; nectary fleshy, 10-lobed, filling hypanthium; stamens 5; ovary superior, 2-locular; style 1. Fruits drupes; stone 1, indehiscent.
Species ca. 12 (1 in the flora): c, e United States, Mexico (Chiapas), Central America (Guatemala), Asia, Africa; tropical to warm temperate regions.
Berchemia scandens is the only New World species in the genus. The disjunction of B. scandens from the southeastern United States to Chiapas and Guatemala is remarkable but there seem to be no morphological differences.