Small erect annual herbs with aromatic roots. Leaves alternate, shortly petioled or sessile, glabrous or ciliate, 1-5-nerved. Inflorescence spike-like, terminal, the axes without nodal glands, winged; Sepals 5, unequal, much smaller than the petals, connate at very base, persistent, 1-nerved. Petals 3, unequal, asymmetric, halfway adnate to the staminal tube, the upper ones halfway connate to the lower one (keel) and slightly shorter than this; Stamens 4 or 6, rarely 5, monadelphous; Ovary 2-celled, compressed contrary to the sept, each locule 1-ovuled; Capsule transversally elliptic, laterally compressed, pergamentaceous, far exceeding the sepals, at the margin of each cell with a double row of 6-10 short or long teeth or spines. Seed elliptic, laterally flattened, glabrous, inappendiculate;
Asia-Temperate: Taiwan (Taiwan present), Asia-Tropical: Cambodia (Cambodia present); India present; Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka present); Thailand (Thailand present), Japan present, Kusaie present, Micronesia present, Nepal present, Ryukyu Is present, S. Korea present, SE. Thailand present, northern Australia present
Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, China, Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, Ryukyu Is., Micronesia (Kusaie), Indochina, Thailand, throughout Malesia to northern Australia. There are 3 spp., of which 2 widespread and 1 endemic in SE. Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia.
CHODAT (1896) and HUTCHINSON (1967) included Epirixanthes in Salomonia. The genera share indeed a number of derived characters indicating a close affinity. Probably because of the small and rather complex flowers the differences between both have generally escaped the attention of most botanists. The presence of a disk in Epirixanthes (absent in Salomonia) has never been mentioned. The androecium is very different: the strongly curved style with the anthers tightly enclosing the stigma in Salomonia versus the straight or very short style of Epirixanthes with longer or shorter stamens not enclosing the stigma. The fruits are also different (dehiscent versus indehiscent) and, of course, the habit differs as a result of the different ecology of both (auto- versus heterotrophy).
The name Salomonia was given by LOUREIRO to honour the famous Jewish King Salomo, 'the first botanist'.
HUTCH. - in Gen. Pl. 1967: 341
BUR-BIDGE, Diet. Austr. Pl. Gen. 1963: 260
MIQ. - in Fl. Ind. Bat. 1858: 126
BOERL. - in Handl. 1890: 76
WIGHT - in Ill. 1840: 47
BENTH., Fl. Hongk. 1861: 43
BENN. - in Fl. Br. India. 1872: 206
BACKER & BAKH.f. - in Fl. Java. 1963: 199
BENTH. & HOOK. - in Gen. Pl. 1862: 136
BENTH. - in Fl. Austr. 1863: 138
VAHL - in En. Pl. 1805: 8
HASSK. - in Miq., Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat. 1. 1863: 144
CHODAT - in E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam. 3. 1896: 452
DC., Prod. Fl. Nep. 1825: 200