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Basella alba (rubra) from Blanco (c. 1880)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Basellaceae

See text

Basellaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Caryophyllales, in the clade core eudicots, according to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. The family comprises 19 known species of herbaceous plants in four genera:[2]

All the species are climbing or trailing vines. Two species cultivated as food – Basella alba (Malabar spinach) and Ullucus tuberosus (ulluco) – have been bred to a more erect, compact form. Three species grow tubersAnredera cordifolia and A. vesicaria produce them in the leaf axils or at the base of the stem and U. tuberosus at the end of stolons. Leaf blades vary in shape between species, within species, and even on an individual plant.[3]

The two cultivated species are of economic importance.


  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009), "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (2): 105–121, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x, archived from the original on 2017-05-25, retrieved 2010-12-10
  2. ^ Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
  3. ^ Eriksson, Roger (2007). "A Synopsis of Basellaceae". Kew Bulletin. 62 (2): 298.

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