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Datisca cannabina.jpg
Datisca cannabina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Datiscaceae
Genus: Datisca

The Datiscaceae are a family of Dicotyledonous plants, containing two species of the genus Datisca. Two other genera, Octomeles and Tetrameles, are now classified in the family Tetramelaceae.

Datiscaceae are large herbaceous plants, with alternate and pinnate leaves.

They are actinorhizal plants, that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots, and are the only ones that are not a tree or shrub, although non-actinorrhizal plants also fix nitrogen, like legumes.


The genus Datisca contains two or three species;[3] two from Asia and one from North America.[4]

The species Datisca cannabina is found from Crete and Turkey and closely related Datisca nepalensis in the Himalayas, which is sometimes included in D. cannabina. It grows to about two meters tall, and in May to August it produces small greenish yellow flowers. This species is strictly dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. It is grown for ornamental foliage and can produce a laxative or a yellow dye.[5][6][7]

The North American species Datisca glomerata is native to California, Nevada and Mexico.[4][8] This species is more or less dioecious, except that female plants may possess some bisexual flowers as well.[4]


  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  2. ^ "International Plant Names Index". Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b c Willis Linn Jepson (1936). A Flora of California: Volume II Capparidaceae to Cornacea. p. 537. 
  5. ^ "Datisca cannabina L.". Nepal Checklist. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  6. ^ "Datisca cannabina". Flora of Pakistan. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  7. ^ "Datisca cannabina (plant)". Encyclopædia Britannica online. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  8. ^ "Datisca glomerata (K. Presl) Baill. (Durango root)". PLANTS. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 

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