Project: Southwest Biodiversity Consortium
Vines , twining or clambering. Stems green, apically tomentose grading to pilose or glabrate on older portions. Leaves not peltate. Leaf blade generally ovate to hastate or oblong, base cordate, truncate, or rounded, margins entire, apex mucronate; surfaces soft-pubescent or glabrous. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, racemes or racemose panicles; bracts minute (bracteoles). Flowers 3-ranked; sepals 6-9, ovate to elliptic or obovate, outer sepals glabrous or pilose to sparsely pilose abaxially, inner sepals glabrous; petals 6, free. Staminate flowers: petals to 2 mm, auriculate lobes at base inflexed over 6 stamens; filaments distinct; anthers 4-locular; pistillodes 36 or absent, glandular. Pistillate flowers: perianth similar to staminate; staminodes 6, poorly developed; pistils 6; ovary slightly asymmetrically pouched, glabrous; stigma entire. Drupes globose, glabrous; endocarp bony, depressed but not excavate, warty, ribbed. x = 13.
PLANT: Woody vines or rarely shrubs or small trees; dioecious. LEAVES: simple, entire or sometimes 3-5 lobed, thickened, semi-evergreen, lanceolate to ovate or deltoid, often apically mucronate, the base oblique to cordate; pubescent with 1-2-celled hairs; blades mostly longer than petioles. INFLORESCENCE: of axillary racemes, panicles, cymes or thyrses, or the pistillate flowers rarely solitary. FLOWERS: small; sepals 6, in 2 series, the inner larger than the outer, sparsely to densely pubescent, the margins fimbriate to erose; petals 6, in 2 series, shorter than the inner sepals, thin to fleshy, each embracing a stamen or staminodium; stamens 6 in staminate flowers, usually nodding inward; staminodia 6 in pistillate flowers, linear; anthers completely or incompletely 4-celled; pistils 6; ovules 2 per carpel but one abortive; style short, pointed; stigma subulate, terete, grooved along the upper surface. FRUIT: red to dark purple, globular drupes, 1-6 per flower, glabrous, short-stipitate; endocarp coiled, sculptured, laterally compressed. SEED: coiled, crescent-shaped. NOTES: Ca 12 spp. worldwide, mostly tropical and subtropical. (Diminutive of Latin coccus = berry). REFERENCES: Laferriere, Joseph E. 1994. Menispermaceae. J. Ariz. – Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27, 237.