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Saurauia madrensis 2.jpg
Saurauia madrensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Actinidiaceae
Genus: Saurauia
Willd., 1801

Saurauia is a genus of plants in the family Actinidiaceae. It comprises about 250 species distributed in the tropics and subtropics of Asia and South and Central America.[1] Genetic evidence and the cell biology of the group support monophyly of the genus.[1] Monophyly of the genus is also supported by micromorphological characters and by phylogenetic analysis, although the exact evolutionary relationships of Saurauia with the other two genera of the Actinidiaceae, Actinidia and Clematoclethra, are not well understood.[2]

The floral characteristics of Saurauia are similar to those in the other members of the Actinidiaceae. The main floral differences between Saurauia and the other members are that the species of Saurauia have 3-5 carpels while Actinidia has 3-30 or more and Clematoclethra has 4 or 5.[3] Also, Saurauia is the only genus in the Actinidiaceae whose members may be monoecious or functionally dioecious.[1] It is also the only extant genus within the family whose natural distribution includes areas outside of Asia (tropical South and Central America).[1]


Species include:


  1. ^ a b c d He et al. "The cytology of Actinidia, Saurauia, and Clematoclethra(Actinidiaceae)" Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 2005, Vol. 147, p. 369-374
  2. ^ He et al. "Phylogenetic relationships of Actinidia and related genera based on micromorphological characters of foliar trichomes" Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution Vol. 47: p.627-639, 2000.
  3. ^ Keller et al. "Fossil Flowers and Fruits of the Actinidiaceae from the Campanian (Late Cretaceous) of Georgia" American Journal of Botany Vol. 83, No. 4. (1996) pp. 528-541