Saururaceae is a plant family comprising four genera and seven species of herbaceous
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s native to eastern and southern Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. The family has been recognised by most taxonomists, and is sometimes known as the "lizard's-tail family". The APG II system
APG II system
The APG II system of plant classification is the second, now obsolete, version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy that was published in April 2003 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. It was a revision of the first APG system, published in 1998, and was superseded in 2009...

 (2003; unchanged from the 1998 APG system
APG system
The APG system of plant classification is the first, now obsolete, version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy that was published in 1998 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. It was superseded in 2003 by a revision, the APG II system, and then in 2009 by a further...

) assigned it to the order Piperales
Piperales is a botanical name for an order of flowering plants. It necessarily includes the family Piperaceae but otherwise has been treated variously over time...

 in the clade magnoliids.

Genera and species

  • Anemopsis californica
    Yerba mansa
    Yerba mansa or lizard tail is a perennial flowering plant within the family Saururaceae. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Anemopsis. It is native to southwestern North America. The conic white 'flowers' are borne in early spring, and are surrounded by 4-9 large white bracts...

    (Nutt.) Hook. & Arn. (Yerba mansa). – North America.
  • Gymnotheca chinensis Decne. – Asia.
  • Gymnotheca involucrata S. J. Pei. – Asia.
  • Houttuynia cordata Thunberg. – Asia.
  • Houttuynia emeiensis Z.Y.Zhu & S.L.Zhang - Asia.
  • Saururus cernuus
    Saururus cernuus
    Saururus cernuus is a medicinal and ornamental plant native to eastern North America. It grows in wet areas or shallow water, and can be up to about a meter tall...

    L. (Lizard's tail, Water-dragon)– North America.
  • Saururus chinensis (Loureiro) Baillon. – Asia.
  • Saururus tuckerae - Middle Eocene
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