Classification: Monocots, Dioscoreales

Genera: Thismia, Afrothismia, Haplothismia, Tiputinia, Oxygyna, Saionia

Diversity: Thismiaceae comprise five genera and ca. 63 species. All species have a fully mycoheterotrophic mode of life. The largest genus is Thismia, with ca. 45 species. A remarkable common feature of most Thismiaceae is their extreme scarcity. The majority of species are known exclusively from the type collection, which in some cases was made more than a century ago.

Distribution and habitat: Thismiaceae are widely distributed in the tropical regions of the world, but some species are known from subtropical and even temperate areas. The genus Oxygyne and several species of Thismia have disjunct distribution patterns. Most species occur in the leaf litter of dense tropical rainforest and can only be spotted during the flowering and fruiting period when aboveground organs appear.