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Family :


Division :



Herbs, shrubs or twining, rarely trees. Stem often with swollen nodes, occasionally geniculate. Leaves simple, mostly alternate, usually entire, seldom pinnately or palmately cleft, sometimes auriculate at the base, stipules ocreate. Inflorescence paniculate, capitate or axillary fascicles. Flowers pedicellate, usually bisexual, primitively trimerous, sometimes pentamerous or rarely dimerous. Tepals 2-6, basally united, green or coloured, persistent. Stamens 2-9, usually 6 in 2 cycles of 3. Carpels 2-4, syncarpous, ovary unilocular, ovule solitary and basal. Fruit an achene or small nut, very often triangular.

Key to the Genus

Serial Key Reference
1a. Plants annual large climbers with tendrils Antigonon
1b. Plants erect or prostrate herbs or undershrubs; without tendrils 2
2a. Inflorescence capitate; flowers subinferior Ampelygonum
2b. Inflorescence spiciform raceme or in axillary clusters; flowers superior 3
3a. Tepals usually 6; stipules often disappearing with age Rumex
3b. Tepals 4-5; stipules persistent 4
4a. Flowers in spiciform branched raceme; pollen grain round, reticulate Persicaria
4b. Flowers in axillary clusters; pollen grain oval, smooth Polygonum