A monotypic family distributed from southern United States to Nicaragua (Rohwer 1993a), introduced and naturalized in Florida and the Antilles and cultivated as ornamentals in South America (Rzedowski & Calderón 2000). Traditionally, Agdestis was placed in Phytolaccaceae, subfamily Agdestioideae (e.g. Rohwer 1993a; Stevens 2001 onwards; Nienaber & Thieret 2003), but several molecular phylogenetic studies have shown that it represents a well-supported independent lineage (Cuénoud & al. 2002; Hilu & al. 2003; Schäferhoff & al. 2009). These studies also showed a close but only moderately supported relationship of the family with Sarcobataceae. Agdestidaceae are climbers and characterised by paniculate inflorescences, semi-inferior ovaries and cypselas crowned by winglike sepals (Nienaber & Thieret 2003).
Agdestidaceae in J. Jap. Bot. 18: 104. 1942 sec. Cuénoud & al. (2002)
- Type: Agdestis