The Saururaceae or Lizard’s-tail family is a small family within the Order Piperales. Saururaceae are native to North America, Central America and Southeast Asia. World-wide, according to The Plant List, the Saururaceae family has 4 genera and 7 species. In North America there are 2 native genera, Anemopsis and Saururus both monotypic with 1 species each.
Most of the members here are aromatic herbs with creeping rhizomatous roots and preference for wet, shallow riparian habitats. Inflorescence: other common characteristics include spike type inflorescences with small inconspicuous clustered flowers. This inflorescence over-all looks like one attractive “flower”. In the genus Saururus the spike inflorescence is elongated bending over like a “lizards tail”, thus the common name of the family; Flowers: this family lacks both sepals and petals and has bisexual flowers; Leaves: basal and/or cauline, alternate, simple, margins entire; Fruits: are capsule or schizocarps, 1 or more (40) seeds.
Anemopsis is the only genus from this family to be found In Arizona.
- Anemopsis californica, Yerba Mansa