Notice: Atrium is currently undergoing maintenance. During this time, some or all images may not be displayed.


Funastrum E.Fourn.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Asclepiadaceae Status: Valid

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Twining vines; leaves opposite, petioled, with cordate bases; inflorescences of peduncled, umbellate clusters in leaf axils; follicles smooth, fusiform, not angled.


Notes: The species here treated in Funastrum have traditionally been placed in Sarcostemma (e.g., Correll & Johnston 1970; Kartesz 1994; Jones et al. 1997), a genus in the broad sense of ca. 40 species of leafy or leafless vines with photosynthetically active stems (Liede 1996); it is native to tropical and warm areas of the world. Based on a cladistic analysis, Liede (1996) argued convincingly that Sarcostemma be restricted to Old World taxa, while the ca. 15 species in the New World be recognized in Funastrum; the similar floral structures of the 2 groups are interpreted as parallel evolution. We are following Liede (1996) and J. Kartesz (pers. comm. 1997) in recognizing Funastrum. (Greek: funis, rope, presumably in reference to the vine habit)