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This family of perennial monocotyledons comprises some 180 species in 11 genera which are found in tropical America. They are rhizomatous herbs or shrubs of palm-like habit, or root-climbing lianes. The family is nearly related to the Palmae, Pandanaceae, and Araceae.

The presence of calcium oxalate raphides has been noted in one species.

Cyclanthus Poit.

Aplin (1981) noted the presence of calcium oxalate raphides in a Cyclanthus species as being a potential cause of contact dermatitis. The genus is monotypic (Mabberley 1987); Aplin (1981) was evidently referring to C. bipartitus Poit.


  • Aplin TEH (1981) Plants that cause dermatitis. Australasian Journal of Dermatology 22(1): 33-35 [doi] [url] [url-2] [pmid]
  • Mabberley DJ (1987) The Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Richard J. Schmidt

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