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Genus of this Family


Climbing, herbaceous or shrubby vines, often with tendril-like petioles and prickly stems and branches, rhizome often stout. Leaves alternate or opposite, mostly leathery, 3-nerved, reticulate-veined between nerves. Inflorescence of axillary umbels, racemes, or spikes. Flowers unisexual, or rarely bisexual. Perianth segments 6, free or rarely united into dentate tube. Male flowers: stamens mostly 6, filaments free or united into a column, anthers apparently 1-locular, introrse. FeMale flowers: staminodes 3-6, ovary superior, sessile, 3-locular, ovules 1-2 per loculus,  pendulous, styles 3, distinct, or connate only at  base, stigmas capitate or 3-lobed. Fruit a berry. Seeds 1-3, with a small embryo embedded in hard endosperm.