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Description from Flora of China

Herbs, perennial, scandent. Roots enlarged, oblate or rarely cylindric. Stem and branches slender or moderately robust. Tendrils filiform, 2-fid. Leaves pedately (3-)5-9(-11)-foliolate; leaflets narrowly oblong-lanceolate to obovate-lanceolate, membranous or papery. Plants dioecious. Inflorescence cymose-racemose to paniculate, axillary. Male flowers: calyx tube short; segments ovate to ovate-lanceolate, ascending, spreading, rotate, recurved, or reflexed; corolla pale yellow, yellow-green, or orange-red, rotate, discoid, turbinate, bowl-shaped, inverted bowl-shaped, Chinese lanternlike, or umbelliform; segments ovate-lanceolate to broadly ovoid, herbaceous or subsucculent; stamens 5; filaments exserted. Female flowers: calyx and corolla usually as in male flowers, sometimes slightly larger; ovary subglobose or conical, smooth or muriculate; styles 3; stigmas 2-lobed. Fruit globose, cylindric, or tubular-cylindric, longitudinally 9- or 10-striate or 9- or 10-angular, almost smooth or verrucose. Seeds elliptic or broadly ovate, usually with woody wings, sometimes wings membranous or absent.

About 27 species: subtropical or tropical Asia; 25 species (21 endemic) in China.

(Authors: Lu Anmin (路安民 Lu An-ming); Charles Jeffrey)

Lower Taxa


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