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Genus Stephania Family Menispermaceae

Description: Climbers, dioecious; stems without prickles; root sometimes tuberous.

Leaves peltate, palmately veined.

Flowers in axillary compound umbels, unisexual. Male flowers with sepals 6 or 8 in 2 whorls; petals 3 or 4. Filaments of stamens united into a slender column expanded into a flat disc, anthers inserted end to end at the rim of the disc, initially distinct but confluent and dehiscing as a unit. Female flowers with sepals and petals similar to male flowers.

Drupes compressed laterally; seeds with distinctive markings.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 40 species, tropical Africa, Asia & Australia. Australia: 4 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T.

Text by G. J. Harden (1990); edited KL Wilson (June 2010)
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Stephania japonica

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