Description: Dioecious herbs with twining stems arising from tuber [axillary bulbils sometimes present].
Leaves usually simple, mostly alternate.
Male flowers with 6 stamens in 2 whorls, the inner 3 sometimes reduced to staminodes; vestigial ovary sometimes present. Female flowers sometimes with staminodes; ovary 3-locular; ovules usually 2 per loculus.
Fruit a papery 3-lobed capsule; seeds flat, winged.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 600 spp., chiefly trop. regions. Aust.: 5 spp. (2 spp. endemic, 1 sp. naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A. Many species are cultivated in the tropics for their edible tubers.
Text by G. J. Harden
|One species in NSW: Dioscorea transversa|