• W. Meijer
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 2)


Holoparasitic, fleshy, coriaceous plants, rich in tannins, with terete or angular, rhizome-like underground parts bearing series of vermiform outgrowths (haustorial roots) that connect the parasite to its host. Leafy structures missing. Flower buds developing underground, emerging at anthesis. Flowers actinomorphic, usually bisexual (functionally unisexual in Hydnora esculenta), with a more or less cylindrical flower tube, often swollen at the base, apically with 2–5 valvate, fleshy lobes. Androecium synandrial, rarely with filaments, with numerous pollen sacs, in Hydnora staminal structures forming a wavy ring with distinct lobes opposite the perigon lobes, in Prosopanche inserted opposite the perigon lobes, united into a conical cap, alternating with fleshy staminodia deeper in the tube. Ovary inferior, usually subterraneous, with a flat, sessile stigma, 3–4(−5) carpellate, unilocular, with numerous placentas, as parietal lamellae (Prosopanche) or pendulous from the apex of the ovary (Hydnora). Ovules numerous, orthotropous, tenuinucellate, unitegmic. Fruit an underground berry, with a thick, leathery wall. Seeds numerous, globular or ovate, very small, with a hard, thick testa, embedded in a fleshy or gelatinous, edible pulp which is rich in starch. Embryo small, surrounded by endosperm and perisperm.


Pollen Morphology Distinct Lobe Carrion Beetle Herbarium Label Leafy Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Selected Bibliography

  1. Cocucci, A.E. 1965. Estudios en el género Prosopanche (Hydnoraceae). I. Revisión taxonómica. Kurtziana 2: 53–74.Google Scholar
  2. Cocucci, A.E. 1983. New evidence from embryology in angiosperm classification. Nord. J. Bot. 3: 67–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cronquist, A. 1981. An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Dastur, R.H. 1922. Notes on the development of the ovule, embryo sac and embryo of Hydnora africana. Trans. R. Soc. S. Afr. 10: 27–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Bary, A. 1868. Prosopanche burmeisteri, eine neue Hydnoree aus Süd-Amerika. Abh. Naturf. Ges. Halle 10: 243–272.Google Scholar
  6. Gomez P., Gomez L.D., Gomez L.J. 1981. A new species of Prosopanche from Costa Rica. Phytologia 49: 53–55.Google Scholar
  7. Harms, H. 1935. Hydnoraceae. In: Engler, A., Prantl, K. (Eds.) Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, ed.2, 16b. Leipzig: W.Engelmann, pp. 282–295.Google Scholar
  8. Hegnauer, R. 1989. See general references.Google Scholar
  9. Kuijt, J. 1969. The biology of parasitic flowering plants. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  10. Marloth, R. 1907. Notes on the morphology and biology of Hydnora africana Thunb. Trans. S. Afr. Phil. Soc. 16: 465–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schimper, A.F.W. 1880. Die Vegetationsorgane von Prosopanche burmeisteri. Abh. Naturf. Ges. Halle 15: 23–47.Google Scholar
  12. Solereder, H. 1899. Systematische Anatomie der Dicotyledonen. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke.Google Scholar
  13. Solms-Laubach, H. zu 1874. Über den Bau der Samen in den Familien der Rafflesiaceae und Hydnoraceae. Bot. Zeitung 32: 337–389.Google Scholar
  14. Solms-Laubach, H. zu 1889. Hydnoraceae. In: Engler, A., Prantl, K. (Eds.) Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, III, 1. Leipzig: W. Engelmann, pp. 283–285.Google Scholar
  15. Solms-Laubach, H. zu 1901. Hydnoraceae. In: A. Engler (Ed.) Das Pflanzenreich IV, 76. Leipzig: W. Engelmann.Google Scholar
  16. Visser, J. 1981. South African parasitic plants. Capetown, Johannesburg: Juta.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Meijer

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations