Mostly climbing herbs or lianas with axillary tendrils, rarely erect herbs, shrubs or small trees, glabrous or hairy, in Mal. not spiny. Branching usually by a supraaxillary serial bud. Leaves (mostly) spirally arranged, simple or compound, pinninerved or palminerved, entire or lobed; petiole or blade-base often with 1-many glands, and often glands on margin and lower surface of the blade. Stipules present. Inflorescences essentially axillary, cymose, sessile or peduncled, 1-many-flowered, ending in (a) tendril (s) or not. Bracts and bracteoles mostly small. Flowers often stiped, articulate to the pedicel, actinomorphic, bisexual or functionally unisexual (either with staminodes or a vestigial ovary, and then plants mostly dioecious) or polygamous. Perianth mostly 2-seriate, mostly persistent, the segments free or partially connate (Adenia p.p.), inserted on the rim of the saucer- or cup-shaped or tubiform hypanthium. Sepals (4—)5( 6), imbricate. Petals (4-)5(-6), mostly imbricate. Corona inserted on the hypanthium, mostly a complicated structure, composed either of filaments, hairs, or appendages, or membranous, annular, or composed of scales (disk), or in addition with ‘septa’ (Adenia p.p.), rarely corona absent (Adenia p.p.). Stamens 4-10, inserted mostly at the base of the hypanthium, or on an androgynophore (mostly hypogynous), (mostly) opposite the sepals; filaments free or partially connate into a tube; anthers 2-celled, longitudinally dehiscent, sometimes apiculate. Ovary superior, subsessile or on a gynophore or androgynophore, 1-celled, 3(-5)-carpellate; placentas 3(-5), parietal; ovules many, anatropous; integuments 2; styles 1 or 3 (-5), very short to distinct, sometimes partially connate; stigmas ± globose, or capitate, or papillate, or much divided. Fruit a loculicidally 3(-5)-valved capsule, or berry-like. Seeds mostly numerous, mostly compressed, often beaked, enveloped by a (membranous or juicy) aril; funicles often distinct; testa crustaceous (coriaceous), mostly striate, reticulate or pitted; endosperm (copious) horny; embryo straight; cotyledons foliaceous. Cf. HARMS in E. & P. Nat. Pfl. Fam. ed. 2, 21 (1925) 470-507. Distribution. About 10 genera and 500 spp., almost entirely confined to the tropics: in America c. 350 spp. (mainly Passiflora, a few species in Dilkea, Mitostemma, Tetrastylis), in Africa (incl. Madagascar) c. 110 spp. (mainly Adenia c. 80 spp., Tryphostemma c. 20 spp., Deidamia, incl. Efulensia, Crossostemma, c. 6 spp., incl. Schlechterina, 2 spp.), in Asia and Australia c. 40 spp. (Passiflora c. 20 spp., Adenia 14 spp., Hollrungia 1 sp., Tetrapathaea 1 sp. in New Zealand).