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Gnetum is one of three genera in the gymnosperm group of seed plants known as Gnetales, whose relationship to other plants has long been a subject of controversy among botanists and evolutionary biologists. Gnetum consists of fewer than three dozen species, mainly large woody climbers (two are trees). Ten species occur in tropical South America, one in West Africa, and the remainder in tropical and subtropical Asia. The seeds and foliage of some species are eaten by humans.

(Won and Renner 2006)

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