Synonyms: Stenomeridaceae APNI*
Description: Herbs or rarely shrubs, mostly with stems arising from an underground tuber.
Leaves alternate [or opposite], usually simple [or rarely palmately compound]; lamina with 3–7 longitudinal veins and reticulate secondary venation; stipules absent.
Inflorescence of axillary spikes or racemes, sometimes forming terminal panicles. Flowers actinomorphic, 3-merous, [bisexual] or more often unisexual and then plants dioecious. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls. Stamens usually 6; filaments free; anthers 2-locular, introrse or extrorse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary inferior, 3-locular; ovules usually 2 per loculus; stigmas 3.
Fruit usually a 3-lobed capsule [rarely a berry or samara]; seeds 1 or 2 per loculus, usually winged.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 6 gen., 750 spp., trop. to warm-temp. regions. Aust.: 1 gen., 5 spp., Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Dioscoreaceae, Order: Dioscoreales)
Text by G. J. Harden
|One genus in NSW: Dioscorea|