Lardizabalaceae R.Br.

First published in Trans. Linn. Soc. London 13: 212. 1821 [23 May - 21 Jun 1821] (1821)nom. cons.
This family is accepted


Bishop, J. Neotropical Lardizabalaceae.


Habit evergreen ; twining woody vines; mesophytic. Leaves alternate ; compound ; bi- to triternate or trifoliate; stipulate or exstipulate ; margins entire ; elliptic or lanceolate to broadly ovate ; herbaceous or leathery; with or without hairs ( simple if present); petiolate ; petioles and petiolules swollen at both ends; venation pinnate or palmate . Inflorescences drooping racemose or cymose; bracts present or absent at base of inflorescence . Flowers dark purple or white; perianth actinomorphic ; petals & sepals six; petals free ; petals much smaller than sepals; unisexual; plants monoecious or diecious; stamens six, free or fused into a tube; staminodes present or absent; anthers 2-celled, extrorsely dehiscent by longitudinal slit; ovary superior ; carpels 3. Fruit a small berry ; elongate- oblong or subglobose. Seeds few to many; subreniform or ovate .

Distribution in the Neotropics

Nine genera and about 35 species worldwide, mostly being found in temperate to subtropical Asia. Two monoytypic genera in the Neotropics, C & S. Chile and W. Argentina, often occurring in humid forests on riverbanks:

  • Lardizabala Ruiz & Pav. - One species native to temperate forests of C. & S. Chile and Juan Fernandez Islands.
  • Boquila Decne.- One species native to temperate forests of C. & S. Chile, and W. Argentina.
Distinguishing characters (always present)
  • Evergreenwoody vine.
  • Compound leaves: Triternate or trifoliate.
  • Drooping racemose or cymose inflorescences.
  • Petioles and petiolules swollen at both ends.
Key differences from similar families
  • Smilacaceae- Rhizomatous; tendrils present; inflorescences umbellate.
  • Dioscoraceae- Leaves campylodromous; ovary inferior; fruit a dry capsule; seeds winged.
Useful tips for generic identification
  • Boquila flowers are white, Lardizibala are dark purple.
  • Boquila sepals membranous, fleshy in Lardizibala .
  • Lardizabala fruit is many seeded, few to one seed in Boquila
General Description
  • Native.
General notes

Berries of Lardizibala biternata and Boquila trifoliolata are edible.

Notes on delimitation
  • Under the APG III system (Stevens 2009, onwards), Lardizabalaceae has been placed within the order Ranunculales.
Important literature

Cheng-Yih, W., Kubitzki, K. 1993. Lardizabalaceae. In: Bittrich, V., Rohwer, J.G., Kubitzki, K, (eds.). The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants Vol. 2: Flowering Plants Dicotyledons: Manoliid, Hamamelid and Caryophyllid Families, pp. 62-70. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Chilebosque. No date. Lardizabala biternata. Online at: (last accessed 02/12/2014)

Heywood, V.H. 2007. Lardizabalaceae. In: Heywood, V.H. (ed.). Flowering Plant Families of the World, pp. 181-182. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Te-chao, C. 2001. Lardizabalaceae. In: Tsun-shen, Y. (ed.). Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae Vol. 29, pp. 1-50. Ke xue chu ban she, Beijing.

A.P.G. [= The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group] III. 2009. An update of the Angiosperm< /A> Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society vol. 161, no. 2, pp. 105-121.

Watson, L., Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval- Lardizabalaceae Decne. Online at:



  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Neotropikey

    • Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.