Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Saururaceae or Lizard’s-tail Family

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.

Date Family Profile Completed: 08/10/2016
References:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database.[and all genera cited above - (accessed 08/10/2016).
https://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=display&classid=Saururaceae
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed 08/10/2016).
http://www.theplantlist.org/1.1/browse/A/Saururaceae/
George F. Buddell II & John W. Thieret, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3, 6. Saururaceae E. Meyer, Lizard's-tail Family
Magnoliidae. (2016). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016 Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/plant/Piperales
Wikipedia contributors, 'Saururaceae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 June 2016, 05:56 UTC,
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Saururaceae&oldid=725839251> [accessed 10 August 2016]