Perennial stoloniferous herbs. Leaves arranged in a basal rosette, simple, alternate, orbicular to ovate to palmately lobed and peltate, mostly cordate, saw-toothed, stalked. Flower clusters axillary or near-terminal in racemes or spikes. Flowers mostly unisexual (occasionally on separate plants), sometimes bisexual in the middle of the cluster.male flowers usually at the tip of the cluster, sepals and petals 0, 1 or 2, the petals hooded, stamens 1 or 2. Female flowers usually at the base of the cluster, with sepals and petals mostly 2, styles 2. Ovary inferior, with 1 chamber and 1 ovule. Fruit a 1-seeded drupe or nut.
Grown mostly in waterside, boggy or marshy places either as the giant-leaved G. manicata and G. tinctoria, or as small, spreading and often mat-forming rock garden plants.
This family is sometimes included in the Haloragaceae.
1 genus of 35-50 species from the southern hemisphere. Australia has 1 endemic species.
Water-loving plants with giant leaves or mat-forming small plants. Flowers mostly unisexual.
Source: (2002). Gunneraceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.