Palm-like more or less herbaceous perennial herbs either without stems or erect shrubs or vines, occasionally epiphytic. Leaves mostly fan-shaped; stalks long, sheathing at the base. Both sexes on the same plant. Flower clusters in dense spadices with 2-many petal-like spathes. Perianth cup-shaped, toothed or lobed or absent. Male flowers with 4-many perianth segments and numerous stamens. Female flowers bunched in whorls or separate with 4 small, free segments and as many sterile stamens. Ovary superior. Carpels 4, each with 1 chamber. Fruit of many adhering fleshy berry-like carpels containing few to many seeds.
Grown in warm climate gardens and occasionally as indoor plants for the palm-like foliage.
Palm-like plants; leaves with sheathing bases and long stalks, in cultivated plants pleated and deeply cut.
12 genera and 225 species from tropical America.
Source: (2005). Cyclanthaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.