Family Taccaceae Dumortier 1829 nom Conserv the Tacca Family

Physical description: The family Taccaceae consists of the genus Tacca with approximately 10 species, pantropical in distribution, but best developed in Southeast Asia and Polynesia. These are rhizomatous herbs with long petiolate and basal leaves, known to accumulate raphides of calcium oxalate. The flowers are borne in an involucrate, cymose umbel at the apex stems, epigynous, and trimerous. The perianth comprises of 6 tepals in 2 whorls; the andrecium consists of 2 whorls of 3 stamens. The gynecium consists of 3 carpels united to form a compound, unilocular, 6-ribbed inferior ovary with intruded parietal placentas, where several ovules are attached. The fruits are berries.

Pharmaceutical interest: The tubers of Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze are the source of an arrowroot starch. In Southeast Asia, Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) O. Ktze. (Tacca pinnatifida Forst.), Tacca integrifolia Ker Gawler (Tacca cristata Jack), Tacca palmata Bl. and Tacca plantaginea Hance are of medicinal value and are often counter irritant.

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