Description: Perennial vines or scandent shrubs with prickly or smooth stems, glabrous or hairy.
Leaves opposite, alternate or whorled, lamina entire, with 3–5 longitudinal veins and ± prominent reticulate venation; stipules absent.
Inflorescence pedunculate, axillary spikes or racemes or terminal panicles. Flowers actinomorphic, 3-merous, bisexual [or unisexual]. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls. Stamens 6; filaments free; anthers 2-locular, latrorse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits or pores. Ovary superior, 3-locular; ovules usually 2 per loculus; stigma ± sessile minutely 3-lobed.
Fruit a berry; seeds 1–few.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 1 gen., 6 spp., Aust., N.G., N.Z. Aust.: 1 gen., 5 spp. (4 spp. endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic.
Sometimes included in the Smilacaceae.
Text by G. J. Harden
|One genus in NSW: Ripogonum|