Gynostemma Blume
Gynostemma Blume, Bijdr.: 23. 1825.
Type: Gynostemma simplicifolium Blume, C.L. Blume 1493 (L), Indonesia, Java.
Pestalozzia Zoll. & Moritzi, Syst. Verz. Ind. Archipel 31. 1846.
Trirostellum C. P. Wang & O. Z. Xie, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 19: 481. 1981.

Small herbaceous or woody climbers with or without tuberous rootstock and dioecious or monoecious sex system. The leaves are simple, petiolate, the blade 3-9-foliolate (rarely simple), leaflets petioluled, margin dentate. The tendrils are apically bifid. The flowers are small, male flowers in panicles, female flowers in fascicles. The receptacle-tube is reduced, saucer-shaped with five triangular sepals. The corolla is rotate with five long triangular, greenish white, subulate petals. The five stamens are inserted near the base of the tube. The filaments are fused into a central column and carry monothecous anthers, which are fused into a central head. The thecae are straight, short-ellipsoid with tricolporate, striate, small pollen (polar axis 20-35 µm, equatorial axis 15-23 µm, (De Wilde et al. 2007)). The ovary is subglobose, (2-)3-5-locular with two pendent ovules per locule. The 3 or 5 (rarely two) short styles carry bifid stigmata. The fruit is a dry berry or capsule, (sub)globose, about 1 cm across, opening triradiately at the apex. The up to five seeds are ovoid or subtriangular with verrucous testa. The chromosome number is n = 11 (Gao et al. 1995).

The 19 species grow in moist forests, thickets and meadows in India, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Japan, Indomalesia, and New Guinea.

The genus Gynostemma is placed in the tribe Gomphogyneae, where it is sister to Neoalsomitra, from which it split about 39 million years ago (Schaefer et al. 2009; Schaefer & Renner 2011).

Accepted species

Gynostemma aggregatum C.Y. Wu & S.K. Chen, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 21: 365. 1983.
Gynostemma burmanicum King ex Chakrav., Indian J. Agric. Sci. 16: 86. 1949.
Gynostemma cardiospermum Cogn. ex Oliv., Hooker’s Icon. Pl. 23: t. 2225. 1892.
Gynostemma caulopterum S.Z. He, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 34: 207. 1996.
Gynostemma compressum X.X. Chen & D.R. Liang, Guihaia 11: 13. 1991.
Gynostemma guangxiense X.X. Chen & D.H. Qin, Acta Bot. Yunnan. 10: 495. 1988.
Gynostemma intermedium W.J. de Wilde & Duyfjes, Blumea 52: 265. 2007
Gynostemma laxiflorum C.Y. Wu & S.K. Chen, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 21: 366. 1983.
Gynostemma laxum (Wall.) Cogn., Monogr. Phan. 3: 914. 1881.
Gynostemma longipes C.Y. Wu, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 21: 362. 1983.
Gynostemma microspermum C.Y. Wu & S.K. Chen, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 21: 364. 1983.
Gynostemma pallidinerve Z. Zhang, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 29: 370. 1991.
Gynostemma papuanum W.J. de Wilde & Duyfjes, Blumea 52: 267. 2007.
Gynostemma pentagynum Z.P. Wang, Acta Bot. Yunnan. 11: 165. 1989.
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 16: 179. 1902.
Gynostemma pubescens (Gagnep.) C.Y. Wu, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 21: 362. 1983.
Gynostemma simplicifolium Blume, Bijdr. 24. 1825.
Gynostemma yixingense (Z.P. Wang & Q.Z. Xie) C.Y. Wu & S.K. Chen, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 21: 364. 1983.
Gynostemma zhejiangense X.J. Xue, Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 15: 447. 1995.


De Wilde, W. J. J. O. and B. E. E. Duyfjes. 2007. Gynostemma (Cucurbitaceae) in Thailand and Malesia. Blumea 52: 263-280.

Gao X. F., Chen S. K., Gu Z. J. and J. Z. Zhao. 1995. (A chromosomal study on the genus Gynostemma (Cucurbitaceae).) Acta Bot. Yunnanica 17: 312-316. [in Chinese]

Schaefer, H., Heibl, C., and S.S. Renner. 2009. Gourds afloat: a dated phylogeny reveals an Asian origin of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) and numerous oversea dispersal events. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 843-851.