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Dioscoreaceae

  • H. Huber
Chapter
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 3)

Abstract

Geophytic, rhizomatous or more commonly tuberous perennials, the tuber with or without secondary growth; aerial shoot rather short-lived, twining or sometimes erect or procumbent. Leaves alternate, opposite or partly whorled, with a pair of fugaceous stipules or estipulate; the petiole typically with a pulvinus at each end; the blade mostly conduplicate in bud, frequently broad and often cordate, entire, palmately lobed or digitately compound; principal veins palmate, acro-, actinoor camptodromous; secondary veins transversal, connected by reticulate veinlets. Flowers usually dioecious (perfect in Stenomeris, which doubtfully belongs here), epigynous, usually inconspicuous, pedicellate with bracteolate or ebracteolate, not articulated pedicels, or sessile, arranged in axillary panicles, racemes, or spikes; the ultimate inflorescence units monochasial but often reduced to a single flower; perianth regular, trimerous, 2-whorled, tepals mostly similar; stamens arranged in 2 whorls of 3 or the inner whorl sterile or wanting; filaments distinct or attached to the tepals, rarely connate into a staminal column; anthers tetrasporangiate, introrsely or extrorsely dehiscent, the thecae sometimes widely separated by a broad connective, the latter usually exappendiculate (Stenomeris,see above, excepted); ovary syncarpous, 3-locular; style trifid or 3-lobed, rarely style branches 2-lobed or bifid, or stigmas nearly sessile; placentas axile; ovules anatropous, bitegmic, when more than 1 superposed and normally 2 in each loculus but numerous in Stenomeris. Fruit 3-locular with 2 seeds in each loculus (seeds numerous in Stenomeris),rarely 2 loculi sterile and the fertile one 1-seeded, capsular or (Tamus only) baccate, a unilocular samara in Rajania. Seeds spherical or compressed, in the latter case usually winged, with abundant horny, starch-free endosperm, the latter extremely hard by hemicellulose in Tam us; embryo small with a terminal plumula and a broad lateral cotyledon; seed coat with the mechanical tissue often derived from both integuments.

Keywords

Staminate Flower Pistillate Flower Single Flower Extrafloral Nectary Stellate Hair 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • H. Huber

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