BOT 360F - Families of Vascular Plants

Piperales

 
This order comprises the families Saururaceae (below), Piperaceae, Aristolochiaceae, and Hydnoraceae. These families may resemble the monocots in having trimerous flowers (i.e. with parts in multiples of three) and a herbaceous habit and so were thought to be ancestral to the monocots (see the morphology-based tree). Sequence data suggest otherwise.  

Saururus cernuus - habit

Photo © 2001 E. Pontieri

Saururus cernuus - inflorescence

Photo © 2001 E. Pontieri

 

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Aristolochiaceae - Asarum canadense. The rhizome of this Ontario species can be used as a ginger substitute.

Photo M. Ferguson © 2001 Royal Ontario Museum

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Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 25-Oct-2008