Vines , twining, or lianas. Stems green, apically tomentose grading to glabrate on older portions. Leaves peltate, petiole inserted near margin, rarely with petiole attached basally. Leaf blade broadly ovate, generally (3-)5-7-lobed or angled, base cordate, truncate, or rounded, margins entire, apex acuminate to rounded, mucronate, rarely notched or obcordate; surfaces abaxially very pale, sometimes silvery, glabrous to pilose, adaxially glabrous to sparsely pilose. Inflorescences axillary, panicles well developed; bracts minute (bracteoles). Flowers 3-ranked; sepals usually 6, ovate to elliptic or obovate, glabrous; petals (4-)6(-12), free, to 4 mm, entire, auriculate basal lobes absent. Staminate flowers: petals entire; stamens 12-36; filaments distinct; anthers 4-locular; pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers: staminodes 6-9, well developed; pistils (2-)3(-4); ovary slightly asymmetrically pouched, glabrous; stigma slightly lobed. Drupes globose, glabrous; endocarp bony, warty, ribbed.
Sep (4-)6(-8), longer than the 6-9 pet; stamens 12-24; pistils (2-)3(-4); drupe subglobose, developing obliquely, the terminal stigmatic scar far to one side at maturity; stone flattened, thickened into 3 rough ridges over most of its margin; woody twiners, with broad lvs peltate near the margin. 2, the other in e. Asia.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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