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Japanese name: ツヅラフジ科 (Tsuzurafuji)

Latin name: Menispermaceae

The Menispermaceae or Moonseed consist of approximately 70 genera and 450 species that are found in tropical lowland regions. They are usually twining vines and are dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants). The flowers are trimerous, with floral parts in whorls of three. Fruits are one-seeded drupes with taxonomically useful endocarp characteristics. Seeds contain useful taxonomic characters related to embryo size and shape and endosperm characteristics. The South American dart poison “curare” is derived from some species in this family. In addition, some species have medicinal value.

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