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Twining non-woody climbers, or trailing (N Australia) or erect herbs, mostly with perennial tubers. Leaves alternate, opposite, or verticillate (China, Japan); Inflorescences sessile or peduncled, raceme-like, rarely one-flowered. Flowers: Ovary superior. Fruit pendulous, capsular, opening with two valves, few- to many-seeded. Seeds basally inserted, dangling on long funicles, with a coralloid or lobed, hollow aril.


Asia-Tropical, Japan present, continental Asia present, northern Australia present
Japan, Continental Asia, through Malesia to northern Australia; in Malesia: 5 species, apparently confined to coastal areas and areas with a more or less monsoon climate.


The frequently purplish and greenish flowers have an unpleasant smell and may attract insect pollinators.


J.J. Smith 1924 – In: Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg: 73
Lour. 1925 – In: Bot. Jahrb.: 541
Telford 1986 – In: Fl. Austral.: 177
Merr. 1923 – In: Enum. Philipp. Flow. Pl.: 202
Prain 1904 – In: J. As. Soc. Beng.: 39
Schltr. 1924 – In: Notizbl. Berlin-Dahlem: 190
C.H. Wright 1896 – In: J. Linn. Soc. Bot.: 490