Twining woody vines, or rarely straight-stemmed arborescent shrubs, evergreen or deciduous, mostly glabrous. Buds perulate. Leaves alternate, palmately or seldom pinnately compound, or trifoliolate with multiple articulations (very rarely simple); stipules usually wanting. The plants monoecious or dioecious, rarely polygamous. Inflorescences racemose or paniculate, often drooping, originating from scaly axillary buds; flowers regular, cyclic, hypogynous, trimerous, usually unisexual by abortion, with a small (rarely enlarged and fleshy) receptacle; sepals 3–8, usually 3 + 3, commonly petaloid, imbricate or the outer valvate; petals 3 + 3, smaller than the sepals, nectariferous, or wanting; male flowers with (3−) 6(−8) stamens, the filaments free or connate into a tube, the anthers free, tetrasporangiate and dithecal, extrorsely dehiscent by longitudinal slits, the often massive connectives sometimes with elongated apices, pistillodes sometimes present; female flowers with 3 (or 6–12) distinct, soon divergent carpels in 1–5 whorls of 3, rarely with numerous spiral carpels, and with or without 6 small staminodes; carpels with a sessile or subsessile stigma; stigma wet, not papillate; ovules numerous (seldom few to one) and laminar or submarginal (if solitary then subapical and pendulous), and anatropous or hemitropous, bitegmic, and crassinucellar.
KeywordsMale Flower Pollen Morphology Lateral Leaflet Outer Whorl Stem Anatomy
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