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is a genus of about 30-35 species of gymnosperm
The gymnosperms are a group of seed-bearing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and Gnetales. The term "gymnosperm" comes from the Greek word gymnospermos , meaning "naked seeds", after the unenclosed condition of their seeds...
s, the sole genus in the family Gnetaceae
and order Gnetales
. They are tropical evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...
s and liana
A liana is any of various long-stemmed, woody vines that are rooted in the soil at ground level and use trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy to get access to well-lit areas of the forest. Lianas are especially characteristic of tropical moist deciduous...
s. Unlike other gymnosperms they possess vessel elements in the xylem
Xylem is one of the two types of transport tissue in vascular plants. . The word xylem is derived from the Classical Greek word ξυλον , meaning "wood"; the best-known xylem tissue is wood, though it is found throughout the plant...
. Some species have been proposed to have been the first plants to be insect pollinated as they occur in association with the extinct pollinating scorpionflies.
- Gnetum sect. Gnetum
- Gnetum subsect. Gnetum - 2 species of trees; southeast Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...
- Gnetum gnemon
Gnetum gnemon is a species of Gnetum native to southeast Asia and the western Pacific Ocean islands, from Assam south and east through Indonesia and Malaysia to the Philippines and Fiji...
- Gnetum costatum
- Gnetum subsect. Micrognemones - 2 species of lianas; tropical west Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...
- Gnetum africanum
Gnetum africanum is a popular vegetable collected in the wild throughout tropical Africa...
- Gnetum buchholzianum
- Gnetum subsect. Araeognemones - 9 species of lianas; tropical South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...
and Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...
- Gnetum amazonicum
- Gnetum camporum
- Gnetum leyboldii
- Gnetum nodiflorum
- Gnetum paniculatum
- Gnetum schwackeanum
- Gnetum urens
- Gnetum venosum
- Gnetum sect. Scandentia - about 20 species of lianas; southern Asia
- Gnetum subsect. Stipitati
- Gnetum arboreum
- Gnetum contractum
- Gnetum gracilipes
- Gnetum latifolium
- Gnetum montanum
- Gnetum oblongum
- Gnetum pendulum
- Gnetum tenuifolium
- Gnetum ula
- Gnetum subsect. Sessiles
- Gnetum acutum
- Gnetum bosavicum
- Gnetum cleistostachyum
- Gnetum cuspidatum
- Gnetum diminutum
- Gnetum globosum
- Gnetum gnemonoides
- Gnetum hainanense
- Gnetum klossii
- Gnetum leptostachyum
- Gnetum loerzingii
- Gnetum luofuense
- Gnetum macrostachyum
- Gnetum microcarpum
- Gnetum neglectum
- Gnetum oxycarpum
- Gnetum parvifolium
- Gnetum raya
- Gnetum ridleyi
species are edible, with the seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...
s being roasted, and the foliage used as a leaf vegetable
Leaf vegetables, also called potherbs, green vegetables, greens, leafy greens or salad greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots...
. Some are also valued in herbal medicine.